Scientific Homeopathy Conference
Dra. Marian Goñi: Presidente de la Asociación de Médicos Homeópatas Vasco Navarros.
Dr. Xabier Ibarburu: Coordinador de las Jornadas Científicas de Homeopatía.
10:15 – 11:15 hrs.
Research in homeopathy.
Latest scientific advances at an international level in homeopathy.
Speaker: Dr Peter Fisher.
I will review current research in homeopathy under the following headings:
- What is homeopathy?
- Who uses homeopathy?
- Real world and clinical effectiveness studies of homeopathy.
- Health technology and economic assessment.
- Randomized controlled trials of homeopathy.
- Biological models.
- Physical research into high dilutions.
Homeopathy is based on the use of substances on the basis of similarity. The controversial aspect of homeopathy is its use of very high dilutions. I will review the use of homeopathy in the United States; the EPI-3 study of the comparative effectiveness of homeopathy in France; the results of a health technology assessment commissioned by the Swiss Federal government on homeopathy for upper respiratory tract infections and allergies.
A total of 1131 clinical trials of homeopathy had been published by March 2017 according to the Core-Hom database. We will look at a meta-analysis of the best quality randomized controlled trials of homeopathy and systematic reviews of homeopathy for specific conditions.
We will then look at a biological models including Gelsemium in a mouse model of anxiety and modulation of basophil degranulation by high dilutions of histamine and a study of gene expression modulation by Arnica. We will end by reviewing physics research including low temperature thermoluminescence.
11:15 – 12:15 hrs.
Exploring high dynamic dilutions: DYNHOM project.
Study of the characteristics of homeopathic dilutions.
Speaker: Prof. Marc Henry.
NMR proton relaxation is sensitive to the dynamics of the water molecule H2O, through the interaction of the spin of the proton (1H) with external magnetic and electromagnetic fields.
This study confirms that it is possible to monitor dilution and potentization processes through measurements of 1H spin-lattice T1 and spin-spin T2 relaxation times. In order to interpret the recorded fluctuations in T1- or T2-values, experimental data have been linearized by looking how the area under a fluctuating time = f(dilution) curve (dilution integral or DI) changes with dilution. It was possible to show that such fluctuations cannot be attributed to random noise and/or experimental errors, evidencing a kind of memory effect that can be quantified by the slope of the DI = f(dilution) straight line. Two kinds of fitting procedures have been considered: chi-square fitting with a goodness-of-fit probability and least absolute deviations criterion with Pearson’s linear correlation coefficient. For all experiments, correlation coefficients were found to lie above 0.9999, against 0.999 for random noise.
The discrimination between experimental slopes and slopes associated with random noise data was very good at a five-sigma level of confidence (i.e.probability 3×10-7). It was also found that discrimination between experimental slopes at a five-sigma level was possible in most cases, with three exceptions: gelsemium aqua pura versus gelsemium dilution (four-sigma); copper aqua pura versus gelsemium aqua pura (four-sigma) and copper simple dilution versus gelsemium simple dilution (three-sigma). All dynamized samples show very good discrimination (at least nine-sigma level) against aqua pura, lactose or simple dilution. From each slope, it was also possible to transform the associated relaxation times into a molecular rotational correlation time τc and an average spin-spin distance d. Our experiments thus points to a considerable slowing down of molecular movements (τc > 1300 ps or T = 224-225K) around water molecules up to a distance of 3.7 Å, values. It was also possible to rule out other possible mechanisms of relaxation (diffusive motion, 17O-1H relaxation or coupling with the electronic spin, S = 1, of dissolved dioxygen molecules).
This is thus clear evidence that homeopathic solutions cannot be considered as pure water as commonly assumed. Instead, we have evidence a clear memory effect upon dilution/potentization of a substance (water, lactose, copper, gelsemium) reflected by different rotational correlation times and average H…H distances. A possible explanation for such a memory effect may lie in the formation of mesoscopic water structures around nanoparticles and/or nanobubbles mediated by zero-point fluctuations of the vacuum electromagnetic field as suggested by quantum field theories. It follows that the existence of a putative of Avogadro’s wall for homeopathically-prepared medicines is not supported by our data. It should be rather considered that all dilutions may have a specific material configuration ruled not only by the dynamized substance but also by the chemical nature of the containers, the chemical nature of dissolved gases and even by the electromagnetic environment. This sensitivity of homeopathically-prepared medicines towards electromagnetic fields may be amplified by the highly non-linear processing routinely applied in the preparation of homeopathic medicines.
Future work is obviously needed in such directions, and we think that time is now ripe for a complete demystification of the principles involved in the preparation of homeopathic remedies.
12:15 – 12:45 hrs
12.45 – 13:30 hrs
Contribution of homeopathy in the integrative medicine program in Tuscany
Results after 20 years of experience in general medicine and oncology.
Speaker: Dr. Elio Rossi.
Complementary medicine (CM) is being increasingly used by citizens across Europe as a means to maintain their health and to treat illness and disease. In Italy, the reform of Title V of the Italian Constitution allows each Region to decide how to put into practice and organize the Public Healthcare System.
The agreement among the Italian National Government, the Regions, and the Provinces of Trento and Bolzano on the terms and requirements for the quality certification of training and practice of acupuncture, herbal medicine, and homeopathy by medical doctors and dentists, signed on February 2013, sets up rules for education and training in acupuncture, herbal medicine, homeopathy, homotoxicology, and anthroposophical medicine. Some regions, including Tuscany, have decided to include Complementary Medicine in their Essential Levels of Assistance, by creating some structures that integrate the health services into the public structures.
The Homeopathic Clinic in Lucca, funded by the Tuscany Region, was established in 1998 as part of a pilot project aimed at assessing the feasibility of integrating complementary medicine into the public health care system. To date, over 4,000 patients have been consecutively visited at the Homeopathic Clinic in Lucca. Concomitantly, research into homeopathy effectiveness has been conducted on the whole sample and on specific groups of children, women or patients’ parents as well.
Studies were also performed on symptom reduction or resolution of atopic diseases, respiratory diseases, side effects of anticancer therapies in women. Other researches concerned cost/effectiveness of therapies, sociodemographic characteristics and compliance of patients, and risk management. The results demonstrate that homeopathy can effectively integrate or, in some cases, substitute allopathic medicine and that the Tuscan example can be useful to the development of national or European rules on CM utilization.
13:30 – 14:15 hrs.
Possibilities of homeopathy in biological farming: Agrohomeopathy
Latest research on the use of homeopathy in agriculture.
Speaker: PhD. Niurka Meneses.
From the start of homeopathy until today, this good-natured way of healing has been attacked from many angles and stigmatized to have auto-suggestive or placebo effects.
This conference will expose in a very brief way the way in which basic science has been and is still demonstrating the changes that a homeopathy treatment creates at a molecular level in humans, animals and plants.
Moreover, the conference will also make a warning to create new multidisciplinary teams to keep on researching on the matter with end means of finding the principle of running of the homeopathy medicines.
14:15 – 16:15 hrs.
16:30 – 17:30 hrs.
Value of drug-epidemiological research.
Results of the EPI3 research program on homeopathy.
Speaker: Dr. Gualberto Díaz Sáez.
EPI3 is the biggest pharmacy-epidemiologic study done in primary healthcare in France and carried through y a prestigious independent research team. The full program has been accomplished through 11 years of work, from the first meetings in 2005, until the last publication in 2016.
At the study a total of 8.559 patients and 825 doctors of primary healthcare have taken part. The research program consists of 4 studies: 1 transversal study and 3 cohort ones: an upper respiratory tract infections cohort (URTI), muscle-skeleton pain cohort (MSP) y dream-anxiety-depression cohort (DAD).
Results appear reflected in 11 articles published in international scientific magazines. We emphasize some of its conclusions:
With the same patient profile, the same type of illness and gravity, patients attended by doctors trained in homeopathy, have obtained similar clinical results and with no opportunity loss against those attended by doctors that do not practice it.
Moreover, these patients have taken twice less antibiotics (-57%, URTI cohort), twice less NSAIDs (-46% MSP cohort) and 3 times less psychotropic substances (-71% DAD cohort), with the consequent reduction of the associated adverse reactions.
17:30 – 18:30 hrs
Homeopathy in real practice, experience and conclusions.
Speaker: Dr. Gualberto Díaz.
This round table will be attended by all present speakers on the conference.
18:30 – 18:45 hrs.