Because of the effects of dairy on her health, my wife buys Alfa milk. I got a bit of an insight into her state when my kidney function fell. I decided when the time for dialysis came, I would decline it. I was saved by accidentally finding eliminating lactose solved the problems within 24 hours. So I know from personal experience lactose can damage some people.

I was intrigued by the recent discovery that fibromyalgia has a physical cause. I really feel for the Scandinavian woman (adult) who had been removed from her parents home because they treated her condition as physical rather than psycho-semantic. So doctors don't always get it right.

On the other hand I can give no credence to homoeopathic medicines. There is simply too much evidence against and none for - even though some pharmacists, traditionally regarded as the front line of medicines, find some profit in their supply. That is not to say that, as with placebos, there cannot be an effect. The mind is really powerful. Really believing your illness will be healed doesn't mean it will be - but improvement is more likely for those who expect it than for those who throw in the towel. I have respect for the American couple who foud the wife has a condition that will slowly cripple and ultimately kill her. They started looking into it it, changed careers and become doctors, and are now working at the leading research place for this condition. They say they will find a cure - failure is not an option.

As a Christian I've seen dramatic healings with my own eyes. I'd even like to say my stroke recovery was a miraculous healing - but I have no reason to say that. The night it occurred was certainly dramatic - at least in terms of one minute I wasn't me - and the next I was. And doctors can't explain it - but they can't explain everything. Now those who campaign against non-scientific medicines are usually horrified that I seem relatively sane - but believe God does intervene in the world, despite apparently breaking "natural laws".

Anyway, this lengthy introduction was spurred by a newsletter from the suppliers of Alfa milk. One article claims that cholesterol theory has been discredited by a drugs trial failure. The article claims to come from the British Medical Journal, 2016. The lead researcher is Stephen Nicholls from Australia's University of Adelaide the study resulted in a new drug, which both reduced bad and raised good cholesterol levels being pulled. Despite achieving great results on these tests, it made no difference to incidence of heart attacks and strokes. Now I'm not about to stop my cholesterol medication - but I will raise the issue with me doctors at some stage.

Worse, the same article points to a 1973 study which was never published (without saying why not). This study (Minnesota Coronary Experiment) was re-examined in the British Medical Journal. In typical careful style they concluded that "recovery of unpublished data could shift the evidence base".

The other article in the same newsletter that piqued my interest was a report from McMaster University, Ontario, Canada. They conducted a 12-week test of 27 unfit men - so hardly hard evidence. But it showed no significant difference in fitness gain between those on the traditional (three times weekly 45 minutes moderate exer-cycling) versus the SIT (sprint interval training) method. These people did three 20-second "all out" intense exercise sessions (again in this case exer-cycling) over a 10 minute period (including a two-minute warm-up and two minute cool down). So time commitment for the traditional group was fivefold - but results were the same.

Just to add more uncertainty, I recently saw a programme which featured a doctor testing a recent discovery which is still being developed but is expected to have a major effect on health epidemics threatening our health systems - diabetes and obesity. For some time it has been clear that the genetic / behavioural issues on their own cannot explain everything. A program being developed in Israel finds that the same foods create different reactions in different people.

The doctor had been following sound dietary advice for years - yet found that SOME of the bad foods actually produced no signs of being bad for her - and some of the good foods did. The other lady had some of the same reactions - but also some different ones. They found this was largely caused by different bacteria. Iin time, we'll be able to find out what our "good" and "bad" foods are.

They found they could encourage good bacteria by changing diet, etc. Then the effects of the "bad" (for them) foods went away. It's early days, but the thought that we could take something like a personalised probiotic pill to greatly reduce our major health risks is exciting.
Food for thought.