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Scientific Papers and Patents on Substances with Unproven Effects. Part 2

[ Vol. 13 , Issue. 3 ]


Sergei V. Jargin*   Pages 160 - 173 ( 14 )


Several examples are discussed in this review, where substances without proven effects were proposed for practical use within the scope of evidence-based medicines. The following is discussed here: generalizations of the hormesis concept and its use in support of homeopathy; phytoestrogens and soy products potentially having feminizing effects; glycosaminoglycans for the treatment of osteoarthritis and possibilities of their replacement by diet modifications; flavonoids recommended for the treatment of chronic venous insufficiency and varicose veins; acetylcysteine as a mucolytic agent and its questionable efficiency especially by an oral intake; stem cells and cell therapies. In conclusion, placebo therapies can be beneficial and ethically justifiable but it is not a sufficient reason to publish biased information. Importantly, placebo must be devoid of adverse effects, otherwise, it is named pseudo-placebo. Therapeutic methods with unproven effects should be tested in high-quality research shielded from the funding bias. Some issues discussed in this review are not entirely clear, and the arguments provided here can initiate a constructive discussion.


Placebo, hormesis, nutrition, phytoestrogens, soy, osteoarthritis, acetylcysteine.


Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia, Clementovski per 6-82, Moscow 115184

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