There continues to be a lot of news (fake or not) about the Russians and hacking our latest presidential election. If the Russians can hack our election, can they hack your health?
Maybe not specifically, but the process is very similar. What is involved in hacking the election? Did the Russians send non-voters to many of our election sites and cast illegal ballots? No, I don’t believe so. Did they intercept the transmission of vote totals from each precinct to the state offices? Maybe, but probably not.
What is going on then? Part of the regular hacking the Russians (and the Chinese and other countries) do as part of the intelligence program is to spread disinformation – one of many parts of any counter-intelligence program.
Are we getting disinformation regarding aspects of our health? You betcha ya! Big time. However, it’s not the Russians who are spreading disinformation, it’s us – not US (United States), but various companies within the United States.
For example, a study might report that vitamin E does not support cardiac health – implying that you should not take supplemental vitamin E to improve heart health. If you read the fine print you might find out what was tested and to what degree – this information is usually well hidden. It is meant to be well hidden – not necessarily untrue, but still not actually correct. Any hint of true is usually believed.
On the surface, a study might look really good. But, it’s what in the details that really matters. The vitamin E in a test might have been a synthetic version of one of eight chemicals that make up vitamin E. The dose tested might have been at a level so low as to make no significant difference in the results. Yet, the inference from the results is that vitamin E at any dosage is not good.
When it doubt, follow the money. “Follow the money” became famous from the movie, All the President’s Men. This phrase was allegedly whispered to Bob Woodward (reporter) by his confidential informant (Deep Throat) to cut through the lies and deceptions (disinformation) about the Watergate scandal.
Regardless of the origin of the phrase, it is good advice when ferreting out the veracity of various studies. Who is funding it? Who is benefiting from it? These are two good questions to ask about anything that just doesn’t sound right on the surface.