In vitro, curcumin exhibits numerous interference properties which may lead to
misinterpretation of results. Although curcumin has been assessed in
numerous laboratory and clinical studies, it has no medical uses established by
well-designed clinical research. According to a 2017 review of over 120
studies, curcumin has not been successful in any clinical trial, leading the
authors to conclude that "curcumin is an unstable, reactive, non-bioavailable
compound and, therefore, a highly improbable lead".
The use of adjuvants that block curcumin metabolism, or nanoparticles, liposomes,
phospholipid complexes, and other strategies have improved its bioavailability somewhat,
but only as defined as increased curcumin blood levels8,64–66 with minimum effects on
curcumin availability to the brain.
The relatively small sample size in this study warrants caution in interpreting
our results and limits their generalizability.
the fact the "interference properties" and being an "unstable, reactive, non-bioavailable compound" is subsumed by the study design.
claims to have studied a bioavailable form of curcumin
the only thing this effects is the chance that other forms of curcurmin will be comparable (and it might have consequences for regulatory status by the FDA).
The study also notes its sample was small
So does it need to be replicated? definitely. does the sponsorship matter? definitely; they could have cheated in some way. until then does it make sense to prescribe this to seniors, or encourage them to increase curcurmin in their diet? quite possibly, given the presumably low rate of adverse effects.
Bottom line: this study is not the end-all be-all of curcurmin and memory, but there is legitimate early evidence that the emperor has clothes.
edits: mainly spelling, formatting
All things equal, you'd expect confidence intervals / credible regions to be very large.
Another way to say this, is that since the measurement error is large, you expect spurious findings that result from something like p-hacking to be large (they have to be to be significant).
Meanwhile, we have a real paper with real p-values, why not discuss the validity of that?
> SRT Consistent Long-Term Retrieval improved with curcumin (ES = 0.63, p = 0.002) but not with placebo (ES = 0.06, p = 0.8; between-group: ES = 0.68, p = 0.05). Curcumin also improved SRT Total (ES = 0.53, p = 0.002), visual memory (BVMT-R Recall: ES = 0.50, p = 0.01; BVMT-R Delay: ES = 0.51, p = 0.006), and attention (ES = 0.96, p < 0.0001) compared with placebo (ES = 0.28, p = 0.1; between-group: ES = 0.67, p = 0.04). FDDNP binding decreased significantly in the amygdala with curcumin (ES = −0.41, p = 0.04) compared with placebo (ES = 0.08, p = 0.6; between-group: ES = 0.48, p = 0.07). In the hypothalamus, FDDNP binding did not change with curcumin (ES = −0.30, p = 0.2), but increased with placebo (ES = 0.26, p = 0.05; between-group: ES = 0.55, p = 0.02).
I can see that there are a lot of p-values around 0.05, but that the supposed improvements have much lower p-values:
(ES = 0.63, p = 0.002) SRT Consistent Long-Term Retrieval
(ES = 0.53, p = 0.002) SRT Total
(ES = 0.50, p = 0.01) BVMT-R Recall
(ES = 0.51, p = 0.006) BVMT-R Delay
(ES = 0.96, p < 0.0001) attention
(eyeing that "attention" one, if this does hold up under scrutiny, could I expect tumeric-based ADD medication somewhere in the future, without all the nasty side-effects of my current amphetamine-based options?)
The gist is like this. Imagine that someone had people play 20 different slot machines. Then they went into a private room and looked at the results for each machine. After, they come out with the results of 5 of the machines and say, "look, our slot machines pay out at a higher than chance level!".
Do you believe them? I hope not. If only 4 machines had done well, maybe they would have shown only 4, or 3, etc.. They've effectively stacked the deck.
On the other hand, suppose someone said they were running an honest experiment with 20 slot machines. How many machines would you expect them to report on?
The researchers took a group of people and submitted each of them to an "extensive neuropsychologist test battery".
That's not just testing 20 different slot machines, that's testing 20 different designs of slot machines.
(Also, each person does each test on their own, which is the equivalent of having them not only play twenty different models, but a unique production per person unit per model)
In that light, the claim that all slot machines have a high pay-out chance is obviously suspicious, but would coming back and saying "these five designs have a higher than chance level of winning!" be an incorrect conclusion?
If each slot machine types is unique, no. But if one slot machine design is known to have a flaw, and if it shares this flaw with another design, and if that other design does not show the same increased performance, then things get really suspicious.
So the question becomes: do we know how strongly correlated the results of these tests typically are? If that is a lot (which I would expect to be true with at least some of these tests), the absence of the other tests is suspicious. If it is low, it might be less of an issue.
To connect this with the slot machine analogy, it might be like if groups of slot machines had different colors, and they chose the color that yielded the best results.
> but would coming back and saying "these five designs have a higher than chance level of winning!" be an incorrect conclusion?
It would be if you didn't take into account that you analyzed 20 machines in your analysis .
However, identifying their study as a pilot study does not excuse the lack of correction for multiple tests. These procedures are well known so failing to use them leads to maximum likelihood of ending up with false positives. The study then provides the best case scenario with the highest likelihood for false positives and seems to highlight the authors' desire to avoid failures to detect effects.
There is always a statistical trade off between reducing the numbers of failures to detect and reducing the number of false positives, so readers will be left to their own devices to decide if the authors' approaches and interpretations were justified.
The study's strength of argument is reduced by:
* The authors' self-description of the study as a pilot study with a small sample size,
* no corrections for multiple testing,
* use of a non-representative sample ("Only approximately 15% of the screened volunteers were included in the study, and our recruitment method yielded a sample of motivated, educated, physically healthy subjects concerned about age-related memory problems. The sample, therefore, was not representative of the general population.")
* PET brain imaging results self-described as "exploratory" (I take the word exploratory to mean "ourselves and others need not trust these results or interpretations" or at least "different results would not be unexpected")
What I find least appealing is the lack of a specific conflict of interest statement even while there is explanation of authors' financial interests in the substance being studied and the company selling it. As noted in the article, "Industry Sponsorship and Financial Conflict of Interest in the Reporting of Clinical Trials in Psychiatry " from the American Journal of Psychiatry ( https://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/doi/abs/10.1176/appi.ajp.16... ), "Author conflict of interest appears to be prevalent among psychiatric clinical trials and to be associated with a greater likelihood of reporting a drug to be superior to placebo." (Perlis et.al, 2005) and this explains the primary conclusions of the current study - better than placebo.
We can't fault the inventors of the substance, holders of the patent, and those with financial interests in the company which sells the product to want to test their product and promote positive findings, but how objective are the investigators and how rigorously are they trying to apply the notion of falsification to their own ideas?
They lose everything with falsification and negative results would undermine the parent company's claims that, "Theracurmin® product is one of the most advanced and studied, highly bioavailable forms of curcumin in the marketplace." http://theravalues.com/english/ . Looking on the research page, there are only a small number of studies shown at http://theravalues.com/english/research-clinical-trials/ . All positive outcomes of course.
All of the current supporting studies are listed at http://theravalues.com/english/literature-published-articles... so does anyone want to open up each of those studies and look at the sample sizes in each one?
In one of the supporting studies for Theracurmin® (https://www.nature.com/articles/srep39551), the sample size was six rats. In a second study (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21603867) the sample size was 6 people.
What sample sizes do we see in other studies? How many other studies of this substance are equally as weak in terms of sample size? 6 rats here, 6 people there, 40 people here... not convincing. If anything, the strong marketing hype based on such studies makes me more wary and less trusting of the marketing and scientific claims.
Given the Theravalues clinical trials website promotes the product for for "Progressing malignancies, Mild cognitive impairment (the study highlighted in the parent post), Heart failure / diastolic dysfunction, Cachectic condition, Osteoarthritis, Crohn’s disease, Prostate-Specific Antigen after surgery" I'm left with distrust.
Kudos to the efforts to begin product testing and this sort of research is time consuming and expensive, but studies with sample sizes of 40 people do not support the company's marketing hype. If this study is positive enough for the authors to obtain more grant funding and run a much larger and better clinical study then I would be interested to see what is found then, but happier even still if authors with no financial or personal conflicts of interests ran the study.
That is not to say its worthless. If there are a number of repeated similar trials by different researchers and this study is combined with those in a larger meta-study that continue to show significant results, then it could end up being a very important study to look back on.
But right now its just 40 people eating refined turmeric and taking memory tests...
The replies to my complaint are nice counterexamples of that, though.
"The sample size is too small" or "they didn't control for [x] effect" are the sort of gut armchair comments people make offhand, knowing it probably applies to any study if you get challenged. I assume that's the sentiment you reacted to and I agree it can be frustrating.
I think, if there are solid reasons to believe that studies on curcumin will not turn up any useful results and then a study finds results it calls significant, the chances are that either that study is not designed very well, or its results are not significant, despite the claims of the authors.
Apologies in advance for the controversial example, but this reminds me of the controversy about Daryl Bem's parapsychology research a few years ago- the author claimed his study was methodologically unassailable, but of course he was making an absurd claim (essentially, that people can receive information from the future via ESP).
Edit: removed cruft.
If there are indeed "strong reasons" then the rest is a tautology.
If there are not, then making such a conclusion is bias.
My very first question was: Please provide a possible physiological pathway for this. I'm so glad it was answered in the very first sentence. So many of these "Superfood does X" studies are just trials with 10 people over a month, with no explanation as to __how__ it could possibly happen. It significantly increases the skepticism I have whenever something like this comes up
I also did not know Turmeric had anti-inflammatory properties. I guess I have reading to do.
Also interesting that they used (what seems to be) a name brand supplement instead of Turmeric
In this trial, and 99% of other trials, there is no mechanism provided by the study, only a measurement of causality (which is the same thing as effectiveness).
The authors may think they know based on other, prior, basic science research (as they are postulating here), but it does not affect the conclusions of the trial ( whether they do or don't (or even if they are wrong).
Obviously it's intellectually satisfying to understand WHY, but it's not as important as "is it true?"
the reason it's the gold standard for medicine is because the only thing that is different in aggregate between the groups is the intervention. Therefore, it is the strongest possible evidence of causality we have, and does say something about causality (rather than correlation).
It's important to replicate, but the points made by Pearl are not relevant here and the mechanism is moot when you have a causal link shown by RCT.
To be honest, I think a randomised clinical trial is more of a starting point than an endpoint in terms of 'knowing' that an effect is genuine. The 'gold standard' moniker overdoes the authority of the RCT a
Correlation != causation. Which is why you need to do randomized testing and try and account for other causative factors. But if you give a bunch of people a medication and they stop dying, you can pretty much say this is valuable and start giving it to people.
Others may value the mechanism more for very legitimate reasons. For instance, if you underatand the mechanism it leads to further research that could utilize a related mechanism or perhaps see potential side effects that would otherwise be hard to identify.
You really need both. "Is it true?" is a great starting place and oofers some treatments, but discovering the mechanism gives potentially a whole new class of treatments.
the problem is that efficacy studies (like I want) are not that exciting to report. as a result, the lay press reports only mechanism studies (because their readers like to be "wowed" and think about things, like the poster I originally replied to).
that wouldn't matter at all, but we all get sick. and when a person gets sick with this mentality that they need to understand the mechanism, then they start overthinking the treatments that are available today, drawing all kinds of spurious conclusions, and making medical decisions that are unjustified at best and harmful at worst. and in my experience, the smarter the patient is, the more willing (and insistent) they are to take this approach (witness Steve Jobs). This is absolutely not the patient being "dumb" or stubborn: it's completely understandable given how they understand science. But it hurts them, which no physician likes to see.
let's note how incredible it is that we are having this conversation in the setting of some incredibly expert scientists (albeit in other fields). it really shows how hard science can be to understand sometimes.
There is a huge amount of effort required to say why something works with certainty. Usually to get there requires many years of experience with a new surprising result. Which requires publishing lots of results before understanding the mechanism.
If you refuse to believe anything that isn't figured out from first principles is true... I mean... I have a condition and if someone told me a higher percentage of patients on a new drug did well than on the one I use, do I care if they can tell me exactly why? Not in the slightest. I will wait a year or two to see if side-effects crop up and ideally see the results confirmed, but I'm not going to not get a treatment likely to help just because they don't know how exactly how it works.
I think it's good practice to assume the results of a paper are accurate, even if you give no credence to the interpretation.
The motto of the Royal Academy of Sciences is quite literally "take no one's word for it".
If you wish to blindly swallow assertions made by people with academic titles, perhaps you should start to listen to those who advise against it.
Says who? ;)
> Your heuristic may be useful, but it is just that - a heuristic, not an argument.
Indeed, but in many but the most trivial cases (stuff like newtonian physics, or computer science, where most arguments are easily falsifiable) heuristics is all we have. Just look at the set of comments we are currently part of, e.g. many of the p-value posts, or the criticism of the small sample size. Those are valid arguments, but also wrong. But how can someone not trained in empirical science find out? Relying on an authority (relevant to the topic at hand) is a valid way to be wrong less often.
To put it pointedly: How do you know its always fallacious? Have you actually proved it yourself, or is this from a textbook/the internet, e.g. - from an authority? ;)
Ask your local doctor next time you visit to tell you what a P value means.
The medical literature is a tragicomedy of statistical incompetence and malpractice.
Specifically on this study it has a lot of red flags: not pre-registered so p hacking can be assumed, industry sponsored which studies show greatly skews results, small numbers, unrealistically high effect sizes.
I think the way to combat this is to avoid studies that solely attempt to demonstrate an effect, but to complement that part of an investigation with additional studies that demonstrate a plausible explanation. This reduces the risk of false positives and increases our confidence in the result.
The additional studies could take the form (for example) of deliberately intervening such that the effect should be manipulated by the intervention in a predictable and measurable way. Essentially, come at the hypothesis “from another angle”.
there are tons of potential pitfalls and a combination of
poor academic incentives,
insufficient statistical and scientific training
I think it’s bad science, that will one day
retrospectively be viewed as invalid scientific method.
I think the way to combat this is to avoid studies
that solely attempt to demonstrate an effect, but to
complement that part of an investigation with additional
studies that demonstrate a plausible explanation. This
reduces the risk of false positives and increases our
confidence in the result.
The additional studies could take the form (for example)
of deliberately intervening such that the effect should
be manipulated by the intervention in a predictable and
measurable way. Essentially, come at the hypothesis “from
edit: fixed formatting
> that's a claim without any evidence to back it [u]p.
You are correct. The irony is rich here.
I always welcome a good argument (whether in dispute or affirmation of an issue), but just saying "I think <XYZ>" doesn't make it so. Reading through this thread, all I see is the common HN Default Skepticism / Negativity -- but more so; skepticism with less scientific rigor than the work being criticized.
A mechanism is really just a narrower example without irrelevant distractions or confounding variables.
Kind of like the difference between the bug reports: "run this complex workload on this specific machine and it will orobably crash after a few hours" versus "run these three commands when the cache is cold and it crashes".
What is your view on science, do you think it can create - and verify - a true result? Whither axiomatic underpinning in such a view?
I think it's clear that science gets us truth, but that the mechanism for that complex social activity can't be reduced to a few axioms or principles; Feyerabend gives a detailed description  of how bad a scientist Galileo was (as judged by modern theories of what science is), yet he was right, and he advanced truth.
 Paul Feyerabend, Against Method (1975)
Heliocentrism isn't truth, it's opinion [that's my opinion, lol!!]. Einstein's relativity makes heliocentrism false in demanding that there is no aether and so no special points in space.
Science provides our understanding of a best current description of reality - the whole point of scientific endeavour is to demonstrate we were wrong and that our understanding/description was flawed.
Moreover it relies on maths, which is provably unable to verify it's own consistency and completeness.
Furthermore it's an axiomatic system that produces a probabilistic framework that gives us little to hang our conception of reality on [what I'm saying is our perception is not particularly informed by physical reality, we have to subdue our instinctive perceptions to work with what amounts to our best, most consistent, physics view of reality].
Science gives us as much truth as we can see in a well lit test-tube.
significantly slowing cancer spread with for example 4 months survival result - less than 40% of controls and more than 80% of baking soda drinker mice
The study has all the statistical bells and whistles. And its result perfectly matches our understanding of cancer spread process - local overproduction of acid from glucose aerobic glycolysis (dominating way of glucose consumption by cancer cells) results in dissolution of the ECM (which is mostly collagen) - and the probable mechanism of action of the baking soda on it.
More generally, however, a plausible mechanism is a great aid in determining the potential value of further researching a correlation because as we all know, correlation != causation, but correlation + mechanism pretty much is causation, which means correlation + plausible mechanism is very interesting. It's not wrong to ask "how?" here, though it might not yield much given the nature of the field. Certainly, anti-inflammatory properties can plausibly have positive effects on the psyche, so that's a mechanism worth some looking into.
For example, How meaningful is the 20.3 point difference in Buschke SRT test? Is it noticeable in daily life, or just something detected in testing.
Piperine study (PS): https://turmericaustralia.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/...
Theracumin study (TS): https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/bpb/36/11/36_b13-00150/...
In TS table 3 shows the Cmax was 25.5ng after 30mg of theracumin.
In PS table 2 shows the Cmax was 180ng after 2000mg of curcumin + 20mg of piperine (the table says 2g/kg but after reading the Materials and Methods section I believe this is just a typo. 2g/kg would be a ton of curcumin).
So comparing the two, it seems that Theracumin was absorbed 10x more per mg consumed. Of course, the question is if you consume equal amounts of Theracumin and Curcumin + Piperine, would the absorption rate hold, which we can't answer, but seems pretty promising.
We cook in a Kirkland Cookware set which I believe is stainless steel. It is still the same color it was when we bought it. Our blender, on the other hand, is now a depressing yellowish green. But it works the same regardless of its color.
I've been eating curry-powdered baked chicken for maybe 3 months straight for lunch nearly every day and somehow it's fine. Mostly I'm craving the massive amount of protein it gives me so maybe my body is overriding any "boredom" of the food?
Not really that hard. Tastes great and honestly if you mind too much how the food taste your goals are somewhere else and/or have depleted your mouse buds. Even steel cut outs taste great with only little added salt.
Are we on the same diet?
Don't get me wrong, it's just my opinion. I would get bored, I can't talk about other people.
You've really got to change it up to keep on top of your spice game.
It doesn't get any less disgusting even after a couple years.
They also sometimes made me drink hydrogen peroxide mixed with water, but that's another story.
One may be very high purity curcumin while the other is curcumin alongside all the other components extracted.
This, for instance:
seems like what you probably would find with a simple search, and there's not even a mention of the actual curcumin concentration.
If you know a better way I'm all ears, as I'd love to keep filling my own piracetam capsules (commercial caps are 800mg, way too strong for me) but hate actually doing it.
I have done several experiments where I stopped taking it. Every time my joints got worse and then better after resuming cooking with Turmeric.
No idea how it works but it seems to work.
It's important to note that there are more than 10 varieties of tumeric, and have markedly different morphologies.
Also: growing conditions or perhaps some other factor affects the depth of the yellow color of a crop, as well as smell, which seem to be indicators of potency.
Lately, particularly since the recent judicial decision in India regarding the intellectual property rights of tumeric which denied a patent to a western company, I've seen general attitudes toward 'curcumin' in western academia revert their opinion about it's potential.
i dont expect any study that isolates the curcumin molecule (which ks widely known to be non-bioavailable on its own) to be very effective.
furthermore (conspriacy theory warning) considering the lack of scruples of the bio-based businesses (med agri gen chem), i wouldn't be surprised to see medically inert or even toxic varieties of 'unprofitable' and/or 'competitor' plants to flood the market in places where tumeric isn't grown amongst traditional small farmers. just a thought, and fits the monsanto narrative in the us and india.
Also funny that some men on TRT take turmeric(with some black pepper) to lessen the amount of estrogen converted from testosterone.
So check your amount of free testosterone and % bound to SHGB. Also, levels mean nothing if the balance between testosterone and estradiol("e2") is bad.
Great... We can have either pain or hair loss... And don't even think about the prostate...
Intelligent design... Meh...
HN and QuantifiedSelfers find this as a niche site to record correlations and habits for self improvement.
https://betterself.io/ (Open sourced)
Some examples Uveitis (eye inflammation), Crohn's (bowels), Reumatoid Artritis (Joints). Usually these diseases come in pairs, so some people are just more susceptible to whatever causes these diseases. Right now there is no cure but in the last decades huge progress has been made in suppressing these diseases using biologics, but they have the side effect of suppressing your immune system which may be dangerous.
Till date, it has not failed once to cure the inflammation/infection/pain. The infection is gone within a day or atmost a couple of days.
As they usually do on their own.
It could as well be a placebo effect.
I finally gave up waiting and decided to experiment myself, started drinking a yakult every morning and last thing at night, within two weeks things started... Moving and now 6 weeks in its like it used to be, bloatings gone, regular as clockwork, energy levels are up and I generally feel better.
I still have other issues that are more serious but the medication handles those ok.
I started taking vitamin D a few weeks before that as well and that seemed to help as well.
Almost entirely irrelevant, provided it's properly powered--and based on the effect size and p-values, it is. Furthermore, for an 18 month trial, 40 people is larger than most.
> probably not preregistered
I mean, true, and we should definitely promote pre-reg, but, 1. so few are preregistered that I'm not sure it's prudent to disregard a study based on this and 2. it's an academic study, neither a clinical trial nor a public-health decree--not a typical study type that necessitates pre-registration.
> Likely Publication Bias or p-hacking.
What? You're arrived at this conclusion based on... the fact that it's "small" and you couldn't find preregistration about it?
> I'm starting to get interested when it's been independently replicated.
Yeah, if only there were another trial that showed a positive cognitive effect of bioavailable curcumin... https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25277322
I mean, the title of this post is by far the most wrong thing about this article, as...
1. it's not turmeric, it's curcumin, which is about 2% of turmeric by mass (so, you'd need to eat ~4.5g turmeric daily to match study doses).
2. curcumin doesn't even have any reasonable bioavilability by itself, so they're using a bioavailable analogue.
The University of California, Los Angeles, owns a U.S. patent (6,274,119) entitled “Methods for Labeling ß-Amyloid Plaques and Neurofibrillary Tangles”, which has been licensed to TauMark, LLC. Drs. Small, Satyamurthy, Huang, and Barrio are among the inventors and have financial interest in TauMark, LLC. Dr. Small also reports having served as an advisor to and/or having received lecture fees from Allergan, Argentum, Axovant, Cogniciti, Forum Pharmaceuticals, Herbalife, Janssen, Lundbeck, Lilly, Novartis, Otsuka, and Pfizer. Dr. Heber reports receiving consulting fees from Herbalife, and the McCormick Science Institute. The manufacturer of Theracurmin, Theravalues Corporation, provided the Theracurmin and placebo for the trial, funds for laboratory testing of blood curcumin levels, and funds for Dr. Small's travel to the 2017 Alzheimer's Association International Conference for presentation of the findings.
>Almost entirely irrelevant, provided it's properly powered--and based on the effect size and p-values, it is.
Sorry to state this so strongly but I feel it's important to point out that this is misinformation of the most egregious kind.
There is no examination of statistical power in this article whatsoever so there is no basis for your claim that this study is properly powered.
Large effect sizes are not evidence of adequate statistical power. Quite the opposite is true. E.g. See this article:
'Effect inflation is worst for small, low-powered studies, which can only detect effects that happen to be large.'
Sorry to state this so strongly but I feel it's
important to point out that this is misinformation of the
most egregious kind.
There is no examination of statistical power in this article whatsoever so there is no basis for your
claim that this study is properly powered.
The nature article you reference talks about literature in aggregate, and the problem created by small studies in general, but it does not allow you to say anything about a single positive study. In fact, the place where those very authors draw their primary conclusion, they state:
Inflated effect estimates make it difficult to determine an adequate sample size for replication
studies, increasing the probability of type II errors
That's well and good, but is a problem for the replicating authors, not for these.
An even more direct point related to the current article: it was preregistered, so you know the authors have not been farming well-designed but small curcurmin studies until they did one than that was positive by chance, and then published it. The act of pre-registration goes a very long way toward addressing the issues raised by Button et al.
This is simply not true. It is sometimes called the fallacy of
"what does not kill my statistical significance makes it stronger”.
The power is only relevant when you fail to detect an effect.
It is widely misunderstood though, so often people try to use an observed result to justify low power.
"The power of a binary hypothesis test is the probability that the test correctly rejects the null hypothesis (H0) when a specific alternative hypothesis (H1) is true. The statistical power ranges from 0 to 1, and as statistical power increases, the probability of making a type 2 error decreases. For a type 2 error probability of β, the corresponding statistical power is 1-β. "
So according to that, if I always reject H0 whether rightly or wrongly, that means β=0 and power=1.
Typical Indian cooking uses turmeric in pretty much everything. I wouldn't be surprised if daily consumption of turmeric is very close to the figures you mentioned.
I've been mixing it through my oatmeal, together with chilli-pepper and black pepper, a bit of cardamom, and a teaspoon of real cinnamon (the non-cumerin kind). While it feels like it works, I know that the placebo effect is probably much stronger than any real effect these foods have. Still, a placebo effect is still a real effect on my mood, so that's still a kind of health benefit I guess. If nothing else the spices help me wake up!
Tangent regarding health food fads: these days I mainly use nutritionfacts.org to determine which of those are actually supported by the latest nutrition research. It is the only health food/diet website that I know of that directly cites nutrition research and continuously scours the latest papers for new findings - sources are always linked, and quotes are directly lifted from the papers with no modification (so less likely to suffer from "stronger or opposite of what the paper actually says"-shenanigans often seen elsewhere).
Some of the other things I tried out based on that website have too big of an effect to just be placebo: adding blue-berries to a meal really reduces sugar rushes/crashes in the hours after it. Taking a table spoon of freshly broken flax seeds does a lot to counter the rise in blood pressure due to my ADD medication (I measured it, plus I feel a lot less discomfort in my chest area and less jittery).
Last time I mentioned that website here, it was in a discussion of which diets are healthy. Ironically, it was the only comment in the discussion that attracted multiples downvotes without explanation, while everyone else was sharing their unsourced opinions.
My kitchen medicine for running nose, soar throat is hot milk with turmeric. Works for me most of the times.
> Worldwide, esophageal cancer is the eighth most common cancer [...]. In India, it is the fourth most common cause of cancer-related deaths.
Granted it's probably due to alcohol and tobacco but curry probably won't save you from cancer.
Check the last few paragraphs--"The authors thank Shayna Greenberg, Dev Darshan Khalsa, and Anya Rosensteel for help in recruitment, data management, and study coordination; John Williams, University of California, Los Angeles, Nuclear Medicine Clinic, for performing the PET scans; and Vladimir Kepe, Cleveland Clinic, for developing the FDDNP-PET analysis procedures for proteinopathies in patients with neurodegenerative diseases." Add all that to the effort involved in the actual chemical extraction of the bioavailable curcumin analogue and it just doesn't make sense to add any more people than you need.
Edit: Heck, you can even lease top grade medical space in all major metro areas and offer it as part of the package in a WeWork style arrangement. I'm sure they are tons of nuances to rolling something like this out, but it sounds like it can cut costs substantially.
I don't' work in the field so I find it hard to interpret these studies. What's your opinion about the size of improvements in practice?
For example, How meaningful is the 20.3 point difference in Buschke SRT test?
Cohen's d (mean difference divided by SD) above 0.60 with the memory or attention seems good (73 % of the people who take the dose get above the mean test score). But difference that is detectable in a test is not telling me how big the effect would be in the daily performance unless I'm familiar with the test.
At baseline, they performed an extensive neuropsychologist test battery, including a bunch of subtests:
-Trail Making Test A
-WAIS-III Digit Symbol Substitution
-WAIS-III Block Design Test
-Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test (copy)
-Trail Making Test B
-Buschke-Fuld Selective Reminding Test [SRT]
-Wechsler Memory Scale-3rd Edition [WMS-III]
-Verbal Paired Associations I
-Benton Visual Retention Test
-Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test [recall]
-WMS-III Verbal Paired Associations II
-Boston Naming Test
-Animal Naming Test
At least a practice to include that in the abstract
Chocolate has the Mars Company and other Big Sugar companies behind it pushing for justifying chocolate as a "health food" in the public mind. It is very obvious that they are wiling to distort the truth for better sales; people who can ease their conscious about eating unhealthy sweets buy more chocolate. There might be some real effect to eating raw cocoa, but that does not really translate to your average chocolate bar with insane amounts of fat and sugar.
Tea/Coffee is kind of similar, as would be the "drink x glasses of water per day"-advice, which is a distortion of science by bottled water companies (fruits, vegetables and other food contains a ton of water already).
For this reason I also don't buy that salt is safe: there are very strong vested interests in the food industry that want salt to be (considered) safe to sell more food, whereas I cannot see a comparable bias on the "eat less salt"-side.
For this research the situation seems to be have some of the mentioned problems, but not to the same degree:
On the one hand, that tumeric has an in-vitro effect is pretty well established. The issue is that the normal form we put on our food is probably not absorbed in a dosage that has a significant effect. However, this was a trial with a bio-available form, in a high enough dosage, so that obvious flaw is out of the picture.
On the other hand, that bio-available form is a product, so the company behind it wants it to be effective. Still, Big Pharma is under more scrutiny than Big Sugar, so I have cautious hopes this might actually work out in the end (and it won't be sold in the form of calorie-rich sweets at least).
Admittedly, I'm biased here: my grandmother on my mother's side, and my grandfather on my father's side both had Alzheimers (or something very similar to it at least). My parents are now their late sixties, I would really like to see them stay healthy and happy for a few more decades.
Another argument in favour of eating potassium and less sodium, which is pretty well established:
It's great to be skeptical, but it's really lame to be skeptical and lazy. It's a terrible combination that causes patients not to trust their doctors.
Statistically, there is no such thing as a 'small sample size', in isolation. It is always related to the power and effect that the researchers want to work with.
Moreover, even if a study is statistically insignificant, it DOES NOT mean that the opposite conclusion is true. It might often merit some further examination of cultural and historical trends. In this case, for instance, turmeric has been used for medicinal properties in Asian cultures for centuries. Theories of evolution suggest that this wouldn't be the case (and it would've died a natural death), if there wasn't some merit.
Lots of things that are completely useless have been used for thousands of years for their medicinal purposes. The evolution argument only holds if there were some negative effects here. Anything that doesn't do harm to the body can easily integrate into the huge body of knowledge called superstition. Eating it is tasty and doesn't hurt, there's nothing more needed to explain that Asian cultures have it as a medicinal herb.
If it for example was good for you but caused somewhat unpleasant side-effects, your evolutionary argument might have more merit. Anything that works as well as homeopathy (it doesn't), but doesn't harm either (like homeopathy), won't be sorted out.
That is utter nonsense. To give just one counter-example, bloodletting was used for millennia for conditions where it’s completely ineffective (and, in fact, actively harmful: bloodletting has killed scores of people). In fact, you simply can’t apply an argument from evolution here. Evolution doesn’t optimise for “goodness”. It optimises something (and only over the long term). That “something” can often be positively detrimental to other outcomes, and even to general fitness (e.g. the laryngeal nerve).
These assumptions are more relevant in small sample sizes. Making them inherently unreliable. What's missing is not a p-value, but an estimate for the uncertainty around that p-value.
Here is a great demonstration of how correlation does not imply causation: http://www.tylervigen.com/spurious-correlations.
I believe the research I was thinking of was specifically this part of the overview above.:
Various studies and research[9,10] results indicate a lower incidence and prevalence of AD in India. The prevalence of AD among adults aged 70-79 years in India is 4.4 times less than that of adults aged 70-79 years in the United States. Researchers investigated the association between the curry consumption and cognitive level in 1010 Asians between 60 and 93 years of age. The study found that those who occasionally ate curry (less than once a month) and often (more than once a month) performed better on a standard test (MMSE) of cognitive function than those who ate curry never or rarely.
9. Pandav R, Belle SH, DeKosky ST. Apolipoprotein E polymorphism and Alzheimer's disease: The Indo-US cross-national dementia study. Arch Neurol. 2000;57:824–30. [PubMed]
10. Ng TP, Chiam PC, Lee T, Chua HC, Lim L, Kua EH. Curry consumption and cognitive function in the elderly. Am J Epidemiol. 2006;164:898–906. [PubMed]
"Curcumin seems to be somewhat more effective than placebo in reducing symptoms of depression. It may take 2-3 months to see any outcomes. Skepticism is warranted though, as the studies comparing curcumin to placebo were not well designed and produced effect sizes not too far apart, even though the differences were statistically significant."
If you meet statistical significance, then diminishing n means increasing clinical significance.
That’s only true if it holds across multiple studies. Otherwise it might simply be random variability. By your argument, a study with n=4 that showed an effect would imply a huge effect size. No. It implies that the measured signal is highly variable, and that you got lucky on 1:3 odds. Check out regression towards the mean .
(Note that if you’ve got a good underlying model of the variability, n=4 can work. In fact, it’s routinely done in specific applications, such as transcriptomics. But even there it’s far from ideal, and it’s supported by a stringent error model.)
Significance is the probability of the result being coincidence. So "highly significant" only means "most probably not coincidence".
That means you can have a "highly significant" result where the actual result (= effect size) is tiny.
In study design, both are related: The higher the number of test persons, the easier it is to archive significance. Therefore, proper design would be to first guesstimate (based on existing literature etc.) the effect size, then define the minimum number of test persons necessary.
Used to hate it as a kid, but of late I’ve been looking to replace one coffee/tea with turmeric milk.
I grew up in a part of South India with a fairly high natural background radiation (thorium, mostly) and I did wonder if the practice boosted survival via accidental cancer protection from an alpha decay environment.
Natural selection is weird because the goal of taking turmeric might have nothing to do with the survival advantages.
I tried searching but I cant find a study where apartment builings in Japan were inadvertently built using steel laced with radioactive elements.
People (10000) were living in them for decades. Statistical analysis on them showed lower affinity for cancer related deaseses.
Radiation Hormesis might be real (I hope so), but if it gets through drywall, it would be a different form of radioactivity to the one I grew up around.
Alpha decay needs just a simple sheet of paper (or dead skin cells) to stop the radiation, but it messes with DNA if you happen to eat it or breathe it.
That's the one from Th-232, in comparison bananas are also naturally radioactive, but the K-40 emits beta particles, which doesn't cause as much damage.
Alpha decay is what a cup of Polonium tea would have (from the infamous assassination).
It wasn't Japan, but Taiwan.
1 tsp of ground turmeric powder
A pinch or two ground black pepper
If you’re not used to turmeric, I’d suggest starting with half tsp as it’s got quite a strong flavour (especially when not cooked with other spices)
I'll give it a try. If my mouth catches on fire, I know who to blame. :)
If you're lactose intolerant, you can do this with yoghurt with a little water & salt instead.
Since this usually happens when I do have a cold, my laziness translates into a coffee cup of yoghurt + water + 1 minute in a microwave to zap all the bacteria out of it.
We now have something called Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) - http://www.tkdl.res.in/tkdl/langdefault/common/Home.asp?GL=E...
It's an interesting result, but they do note that the subpopulation is somewhat self-selected: "Only approximately 15% of the screened volunteers were included in the study, and our recruitment method yielded a sample of motivated, educated, physically healthy subjects concerned about age-related memory problems. The sample, therefore, was not representative of the general population. "
Also, black pepper inhibits CYP3A4, not 450.
And p450 exists in the brain, which may relate to the OP suggestion that turmeric boosts memory, but doesn't give me confidence that it boosts it in a way that is absent of tradeoffs.
Also, CYP3A4 is one of the p450 enzymes. But after looking it up, piperine does seem to be specific to CYP3A4, which is better than inhibiting p450 in general.
In summary: very cool, and I'd offer these curcumin supplements to anyone 50+ but sprinkling turmeric on your breakfast cereal ain't going to do much for high schoolers.
Volunteers had "objective cognitive performance scores and clinical histories consistent with normal aging or MCI (i.e., mild neurocognitive disorder) and inconsistent with dementia (i.e., major neurocognitive disorder)." [emphasis added]
This is false. The only advantage people in their fifties have is experience. Your body is past its peak physically and mentally. People flourishing in their fifties are by and large reaping the benefits of things done in their younger decades, not because they are peaking.
I'm not saying that someone that is 50 years old is decrepit, but ask nearly any academic and they'll tell you they were better when they were younger. Ask nearly any athlete (ultramarathoners being an exception) and they'll tell you they were better when they were younger.
I don't think that's true at all outside of Mathematics.
>Ask nearly any athlete (ultramarathoners being an exception) and they'll tell you they were better when they were younger.
Quite a few great math papers are written by people over 40, despite the flashy age restriction on the Fields Medal.
I know there are things I could do to fight it, but motivation is another one of those things going down. f--- it, f--- everything.
How do you mean? I don't think most people in their 50s would describe themselves as being "in their prime".
For example, ELO ratings of Chess players tend to decline in their 30s. For NBA players, their "prime" is typically the late 20s, with performance declining in their 30s.
Neither extreme athletic performance nor ELO rating are measures of normal flourishing (I'm surprised one would bring up such abnormal elements; the lives of NBA players and elite chess players deviate very far from that of a normal human). I wonder how the kind of argument you offer, and that of the sibling "olympus" comment, feeds into reported ageism in SV and related tech companies.
Being in your prime is about peak potential. And sure, the age at which you have peak potential varies by activity. My early 20s is when I have the _opportunity_ to be the best sprinter I'll ever be. That's my prime. But say I first take up sprinting in my late 30s, and put in my best sprint time at the age of 40. I might be "flourishing" at that point, but in no way does it mean I'm in my prime at age 40. The 20 year old version of myself, with the similar conditions and preparation, is simply physically capable of sprinting faster.
Certainly, there are activities where your peak potential is greatest in middle age. I'm not disputing that (however, I'm highly skeptical that memory and physical ability are in their prime past age 40).
> I'm surprised one would bring up such abnormal elements; the lives of NBA players and elite chess players deviate very far from that of a normal human
I mean, where can I get performance statistics for "normal people"? If we're talking about maximizing potential, why not look at the ones putting in the most effort toward that goal?
Also, the linked ELO ratings were for 179,221 "registered FIDE players". They weren't just the top-100 or even top-1000 players. Yes, this is biased toward people who play chess - but where else can you get the data?
I'm curious what you think a "normal human" is? Do you think any of those 179,221 chess players are "abnormal"?
I don't understand your (and others') focus on peak extreme-athletic performance, or peak chess-playing ranking. Why is it problematic to assert that people in their middle age are normally healthy, fully functional, flourishing human beings?
Anand just won the rapid chess world championship at 48, Korchnoi was top-100 into his 70's.
Not saying there isn't some decline just that it may not be as pronounced as the raw ELO figures would indicate.
I are not going to be part of a professional sports franchise. But at my age (59) I know more than I ever did, and I have no serious physical problems.
Knowing useful and effective ways to act, and acting accordingly; understanding and undertaking long-term, purposeful courses of action; and fully integrating new knowledge with vast, existing knowledge -- are key to flourishing. This doesn't end at or decline with the start of middle age.
The context of this thread is fitness - 50 year olds are definitely less fit than their younger selves. It's part of the human condition.
I hope you're not involved in any way in hiring decisions, or in other activities that involve evaluating people's abilities, performance, achievements, or potential.
Nope, I just think you have poor reading comprehension - you are replying to a comment that said exactly the same thing. Flourishing (vibrant, active, enjoying life) != being in one's prime (peak performance).
Nothing wrong with that. My parents are 60+ and flourishing past their prime - their decades of experience are invaluable.
no, it hasn't.
I mean yeah you need one dog who speaks but apparently, when you read other comments, there are enough papers saying the opposite to this one.
"Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.
Turmeric might decrease blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking turmeric along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.
Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others."
Turmeric might slow blood clotting. Taking turmeric along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.
Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) substrates)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.
Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. Turmeric might decrease how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking turmeric along with some medications that are broken down by the liver can increase the effects and side effects of some medications. Before taking turmeric talk to your healthcare provider if you take any medications that are changed by the liver.
Some medications that are changed by the liver include some calcium channel blockers (diltiazem, nicardipine, verapamil), chemotherapeutic agents (etoposide, paclitaxel, vinblastine, vincristine, vindesine), antifungals (ketoconazole, itraconazole), glucocorticoids, alfentanil (Alfenta), cisapride (Propulsid), fentanyl (Sublimaze), lidocaine (Xylocaine), losartan (Cozaar), fexofenadine (Allegra), midazolam (Versed), and others."
Side fact: An American company tried to patent turmeric & almost got away with it. This had to be fought by the Indian government to prevent (or nullify) the patent application.
Homeopathy also has zero side effects (apart from having zero effects). There is no medical wisdom in any of the old texts (from any culture) that are relevant in 2018. The vast majority is pseudo-scientific nonsense that should be rejected.
>Turmeric is just one such extremely powerful & healthy food item that Western science seems to be playing catch up on. Many others like black pepper, honey, asafoetida (hing), coconut oil, copper utensils, cloves, cardamom, mustard seeds, neem (gold), milk, clarified butter (ghee).
All of those are known to the entire world, both their exaggerated benefits and their limitations. Sorry to burst your bubble.
>But the other aspect is that we are slowly losing all that because Indians try to mimic the West in almost everything they do &
You are severely confused. Do you take coconut oil when you get cancer? Or do you take Turmeric? If you get liver disease do you use copper vessels? Nobody cares where the idea originated. When it comes to their health, people will go where there are results.
> nowadays do not trust our own sciences like Ayurveda etc, even at the risk of debilitating side effects.
That doesn't explain the success of pseudo-scientific products marketed under the "Patanjali" brand.
Also, there is no such thing as "Western science". Its a global science and people from around the world are contributing to it. Go into any research lab in the "west". You'll find a large portion of people there belonging to chinese and south asian heritage apart from the local ethnic majority.
Seriously? We can do better than that - if you're going to make a statement that extreme, you'll need to provide sources to back it up.
But, to play along, in attempt to affirm or deny this - let's start with what you mean by "those texts". Which texts, specifically, are you referring to, when you say that they contain absolutely zero applicable content to the care of modern humans? (Where I'm paraphrasing your statement: "There is no medical wisdom in any of the old texts (from any culture) that are relevant in 2018").
you know what? I'll help you out with a single counterexample to your statement, so that we can move on:
To summarize, the plant Artemesia Annua was recorded approximately 2500 years ago in traditional Chinese medical herbal texts as being an effective treatment for the disease known as malaria. The 2015 Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology was awarded to the chemist who used this specific information from these texts to aid in the discovery of a compound that is now the defacto treatment for this disease.
There's plenty more examples like this; I will end my confrontation of your current system of beliefs here. The rest of this form of work is completely up to you!
I don't know about you, but when I read about applying dung into my wounds, I kinda lose interest in the remaining 4000 pages, and also happily forgo the 'ward off evil spirits' bonus that it brings.
>Which texts, specifically, are you referring to, when you say that they contain absolutely zero applicable content to the care of modern humans? (Where I'm paraphrasing your statement: "There is no medical wisdom in any of the old texts (from any culture) that are relevant in 2018").
Your paraphrasing is out of context. I am speaking about medical knowledge. Our knowledge has improved, but our flaws still remain. In other non-medical contexts, a lot of things would still apply.
Back to your counter point.
>the plant Artemesia Annua was recorded approximately 2500 years ago in traditional Chinese medical herbal texts as being an effective treatment for the disease known as malaria. The 2015 Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology was awarded to the chemist who used this specific information from these texts to aid in the discovery of a compound that is now the defacto treatment for this disease.
While that maybe be what is being reported it is not even close to the truth. The texts don't say "here's how to treat malaria". They don't even know what malaria actually is or how it works or anything about it. Traditional medicine applied a 'throw shit to the wall' approach (common in ancient times) to treat fevers using hundreds of different herbs. None of these actually worked, because there was no knowledge of what was causing those fevers (parasite/virus/disease etc). This is also why we don't treat malaria by giving someone a cup of herbal tea - it doesn't work.
What was a world record for a marathon a hundred years ago is barely the qualifying time for the Boston marathon in 2018. So yeah, The Chinese, Egyptians, Indians, etc all had their own world records. Its time to let them go. I prefer to take my medical science from the time when we know the most about the human body, not when we knew the least. You can make your own choice.
Isn't that exactly what you are disputing?
I think we have to allow for the possibility that some of the correlations identified over thousands of years may actually be real.
I would never follow any of that advice, because I agree that the scientific process we have today is vastly superior and supercedes traditional medicine.
"Try things and see what works" wasn't invented yesterday though. That's why people were successfully using citrus fruits against scurvy long before double blind trials became a thing.
The qualifying time for the Boston Marathon today, was a world record 100 years ago. So yeah, maybe these remedies were 'world records' in their time. But now, we have advanced, and they're sub-par and often times downright dangerous.
Whatever truths are contained in Ayurvedic texts are accidental unless they were arrived at by some sort of experimentation, and they're mixed in with a lot of nonsense which "Western" science is attempting to sift through. Along with proving the potency of some Ayurvedic treatments, science is also DISproving that of many others, which means that it's not "catching up" with Ayurvedic so much as catching it, shining a bright light on it, and asking it much tougher questions than anybody thought to ask before.
I don't agree there are accidental truths. In India we have been following these for thousands of years. They were not exposed to the Western world, maybe because of the prejudice of religion, obscurity etc & also the belief that something of virtue is rarely possible in an Eastern civilization like India.
What ones have been disproven? If any, Western sciences have been building up on some of what were already discovered & documented. Also, I did not mean to insult anyone by saying that they are trying to "catch up". I feel at least some of what we are discovering nowadays are repeat discoveries of the Eastern / Indian / Vedic world, not because the Vedic people were smarter, but only because they have had a much much longer civilizational presence than any other. Even this longevity of Vedic civilization has not yet been "discovered" fully by the Western world.
Then please show us the studies, and the reproductions. As you said, "Why should it be any different?", and verification via repeatably reproducing results is how science works.
> the British & Muslim rule in India.
That's a bit of off-topic attack that serves no purpose to your argument. If you were trying to make the argument the texts would have been preserved if India had been entirely under Hindu rule, well, that's an entirely different argument that does not validate an "Ayurveda works" claim. In short: "The dog ate my thesis" does not work.
> In India we have been following these for thousands of years.
As have been a lot of rituals and traditions that have been proven to hold no (or worse, negative) benefit. Age serves as a poor proxy for legitimacy.
Any culture that has been developing food habits via trial and error for centuries has some that are beneficial, some that are harmful, and others that are neither harmful nor beneficial.
How is that different from science? That is great & is science. Maybe you do not recall the recent news about how Radium painting was also science. All this is science, especially the Ayurvedic sciences. What else is it?
In particular, it omits (or has long since stopped):
- Developing testable (falsifiable) predictions
- Gathering data to test the predictions
- Refining, Altering, Expanding, or Rejecting Hypotheses
Modern science is actively doing all those things: constantly re-evaluating its own prior conclusions and testing against the most recent empirical data available.
Ayurveda, like many other traditional health practices, is an interesting source of hypotheses that can be tested by the modern scientific method - and we might learn a lot from doing just that - but it's by no means a fully verified system of knowledge.
> Ayurveda, like many other traditional health practices, is an interesting source of hypotheses that can be tested by the modern scientific method - and we might learn a lot from doing just that - but it's by no means a fully verified system of knowledge.
That is true for everything, that is how science works today at least. Even scientific theories are tested again & again, just to prove them wrong. If they are proved wrong, then that is a great accomplishment, but how can they be proven wrong if they are not tested? Same with Ayurveda, it is just science with a different name.
The idea that modern medicine is ‘playing catch-up’ is laughable. For every home remedy they get right, they probably get many others wrong.
I agree drug companies are still fairly evil.
How would you be able to tell?
Your example is a good one actually: we know Japanese men are less prone to heart disease, but we don't conclusively know why. We can guess it's related to certain factors, e.g. fish consumption, but we can't know just by comparing the two cultures.
Ayurveda & any Vedic sciences are arguably as rigorous as today's sciences, if not more. You're are grossly mistaken if you think Ayurveda is a "home remedy".
Ayurveda likely has a lot to offer as a FOUNDATION to start doing investigative research; but this claim of "any vedic sciences are arguably as rigorous as today's sciences" is bunkum. Show me any statistics / clinical trial data (or its equivalent) in the vedas?
I will accept & agree with the idea / contention that a lot of the treatments in ayurveda are possibly based on strong observations & correlations. Which is a good place to start modern scientific research from.
But to claim that ayurveda as written in, for instance, the Atharva Veda, is rigorous science demonstrates to me, a rather stark, depressing & baffling ignorance of modern science.
Not just ayurveda, but take any science or even Mathematics. The Vedic civilization has been too far ahead of its European counterparts. In fact the idea of heliocentrism, gravity, action=reaction, universe & its age, speed of light, distance of the sun & moon from earth, understanding of time travel, time zones, metallurgy, the so called pythagoras theorem, sudoku & its various forms, the numeral system etc etc all have Indian/Vedic origins, so why would you doubt vedic medical sciences so much? There is also substantial evidence for surgery to have developed in Vedic India far earlier than Hippocrates or any Western counterpart. I firmly believe that if not for the muslim hordes who destroyed everything under the pretext of war, mankind would have been able to make better use of mankind's ancestral knowledge.
So I'll limit myself to the original point.
Science, particularly modern science, even with all its baggage and flaws and politics, is evidence based.
Evidence in this case is statistics and data. Those are not present, from many reasons (as an aside, I don't think there is any evidence of statistical trials being performed in the Vedas).
There is no work in medicine in the Vedas that satisfies this criteria. Ergo, it is not yet evidence based science. It's observational. Now, if the govt. through AYUSH [AYUSH added in edit] actually invests in performing clinical trials etc. and publishing them in peer reviewed journals, then your argument may hold water. You are conflating correlations with causation / evidence.
> Science, particularly modern science, even with all its baggage and flaws and politics, is evidence based.
Can be reworded as: "Science, particularly Vedic science, even with all its baggage and flaws and politics, is evidence based." The vedas are not any different than any sciences that mankind honestly developed. Only, it goes far beyond what we (aka modern science) are/is able to comprehend, about the consciousness of the universe etc. With time, that will also be rediscovered. Also not to take away anything from modern science, many things have been discovered & invented far more than Vedic sciences. My problem is treating the Vedas as purely a religious book like the Bible & Quran and neglecting the great expanse of knowledge in it.
Who, in this comment chain, is making any point about Vedas being purely religious? That is not apposite to this discussion.
The Vedas are a work of knowledge. In philosophy, in natural sciences. There is a strong argument to be made that they capture large parts of the essence of scientific temperament, which is analysis, refection & observation. But, modern scientific research is not just scientific temperament.
Practicing science, modern science, also requires evidence & follows a hypothesis-driven model that makes testable & provable / disprovable predictions.
You seem to be eager to misinterpret OR re-interpret terms to suit your perspective / point of view. "Evidence" based has a specific meaning. This  is a reasonable definition of what evidence based medicine means TODAY.
The vedas provide observations. They record correlations (perhaps). That's not evidence!
Lots of work has been lost; that's not unique to the Indian subcontinent. The library of Alexandria was lost. Many of Plato's works are lost. What does that have to do with modern science apart from regret & grief at what was lost?
Also, it is fair to say that Indian ancient texts have suffered significantly more destruction than others due to religious persecution and genocides against a peaceful civilization. The genocides are especially important because most information was transferred through word of mouth.
They may have been ahead of the Europeans in the past. But that’s irrelevant now. They are not ahead of modern civilisation.
And perhaps there’s some lost knowledge, but these alternative treatments as practiced now have never been shown to be effective.
> कैंसर: कैंसर में पहले तीन दिन रोगी को उपवास कराएं, फिर अंगूर सेवन कराना आरम्भ करें। कभी-कभी एनिमा लगाएं। एक दिन में दो किलो से अधिक अंगूर न खिलाएं। कुछ दिन पश्चात छाछ पीने को दी जा सकती है। अन्य कोई चीज़ खाने को न दें। इससे लाभ धीरे-धीरे महीनों में होता है। इसकी पुल्टिस घावों पर लगा सकते हैं। इस रोग की चिकित्सा में कभी-कभी अंगूर का रस लेने से पेट-दर्द मलद्वार पर जलन होती है। इससे डरना नहीं चाहिए। दर्द कुछ दिनों में ठीक हो जाता है। दर्द होने पर सेक कर सकते हैं।
> Cancer: for cancer, have the patient fast for three days, then begin their intake of grapes. Perform enemas intermittently. Don't feed the patient more than two kilos of grapes in a day. After a few days, buttermilk may be given for drinking. Do not provide anything else to drink. In the next few months, an improvement will slowly be noted. A poultice may be applied to their wounds. In the course of the treatment of this disease, the intake of grape juice will occasionally cause stomachaches and a burning sensation on the anus. This is no cause for concern. The pain will subside in a few days. Compressions may be given to alleviate the pain.
You could argue that such obvious quackery has also been peddled by Western doctors who are trained in the scientific method. That is true, but at least these doctors' manuscripts wouldn't be accepted by any reputable journal. Admittedly I'm not sure how the Ayurvedic medical community organizes itself in India, but I'm willing to bet it doesn't place so much emphasis on the scientific method, and you also imply this in your comment.
A less extreme example of what's found in the book, a remedy for diabetes using bitter gourd juice:
> मधुमेह: रोगी को १५ ग्राम करेले का रस सौ ग्राम पानी में मिलाकर नित्य तीन बार करीब तीन महीने पिलाना चाहिए। खाने में भी करेले की सब्ज़ी लें।
> Diabetes: Have the patient drink 15 grams of bitter gourd juice in 100 grams of water 3 times daily continuously for three months. They should also eat cooked bitter gourd.
I think you'd agree that the remedy above isn't as good a treatment for diabetes as an insulin regimen--the one prescribed, by the way, by Western medicine.
In summary, there's no doubt that traditional systems of medicine like Ayurveda or Chinese traditional medicine have discovered legitimate remedies, but it seems like they generally prescribe a large number of false positive treatments. And if you also believe that the scientific method is the best epistemological apparatus that humans have found so far, then you should be skeptical of these remedies until they have been clinically demonstrated to be effective.
Before you say a word about your cancer treating poop juice remind you taking chances with someone else's life.
There's no such thing as "any other science." There is science as developed and practiced by qualified researchers all over the world - including India - and it's all one and the same science, which is a set of protocols for rigorously checking the relevance of what you're seeing, and the huge body of useful human knowledge that these methods have brought forth. And then there's everything else, which encompasses "folk wisdom," quackery and outright fraud. If Ayurveda and its kin provided comprehensive documentation of rigorously controlled, published and peer-reviewed studies, it would be science; as it doesn't, it isn't.
What, exactly, are you talking about here? It'd be better if you could cite examples.
Does it have predictive (and thus real explanatory) power?
Imagine a test (other similar tests can be imagined):
give some powder to a western chemist/biologist and an ayurvedic to examine its "elements". You are not allowed to feed it to any human or animal. Decide if it is poisonous! Who will be more successful?
Ayurveda knows nothing about modern chemisrty or biology (real elements, cells,...), its theory part is rubish (from the perspective of natural science not from social science perspective (history, philosophy...) of course).
You may trust its experimental results, but that is not science in itself just a tradition...