by djsnjones (38 Posts), Sun Nov 18, 2007 08:58 pm
1) I do not know if there are any peer-reviewed articles or research regarding the Brewer Diet. That does not mean that they do not exist--only that I am not privy to all of their files.
2) I talked with my husband on the subject of peer-review. My husband has been a college professor for about 27 years, and the chair of the Audio Arts and Acoustics Department for maybe 10 years. He said that the peer-review system has two sides to it. On the one hand it does succeed at eliminating quacks. On the other hand, it also succeeds at suppressing any point of view that happens to be unpopular, because any unpopular view will not get a fair chance for review.
The old story of Dr. Semmelweis would seem to be a classic example of this unfair suppression of an unpopular medical view, a suppression which was unrelated to how valid his view was.
3) I don't have the energy to read all the threads here of all your previous discussions on the Brewer Diet, but so far in this one there have been several items stated or implied as fact which simply are not factual, and people are apparently building on those items as if they are factual, which leads to faulty conclusions. I'm simply offering to clarify those faulty beginning assumptions. It would seem unfortunate to me to allow your membership to continue to believe that the Brewer people claim things that they do not claim. But I do agree that it is the prerogative of the moderators to decide what information is allowed on their board.
4) I was not even considering replying that anything is intuitively obvious. I do believe that the answers are much more scientific than that--and consistent with what I learned about the human physiology in nursing school.
5) I can't begin to explain anything as long as you list reasons why you don't want to hear them.
6) These are some of the questions I see so far in this thread which I could answer factually, not based on intuition.
--What is the difference between chronic hypertension and the hypertension of pregnancy?
--Does Brewer actually claim that pre-eclamptic women aren't eating enough protein to grow a baby?
--Does Brewer actually claim that the deficiency of albumin in the blood causes leaky blood vessels (leading to the downstream symptoms of pre-eclampsia)?
--Can any increase of protein in the pregnant diet claim to be following the Brewer Diet, or is it more specific and precise than that?
--Can any non-Brewer-oriented physician know enough about the Brewer Diet to be able to use it or prescribe it well enough to judge whether it "works" on any of their pre-eclamptic patients?
--Does Brewer actually claim that this diet is good for any non-pregnant person with kidney disease, heart disease, or diseases of the circulatory system?
--Does Brewer actually claim that this diet is good for any pregnant woman with kidney disease, heart disease, or diseases of the circulatory system?
--There's been much confusion about what the Brewer Diet actually is. Even some midwives and childbirth educators sometimes teach the Brewer Diet incorrectly. How can any mother who feels that it didn't work for her know whether she was one of the ones who was taught incorrectly or not?
--There is a specific way to adjust the Brewer Diet for when symptoms of pre-eclampsia appear. Does any one here know what that is? If not, how do the ones whose experience was that it didn't work know whether it was applied for their situation correctly?
--Does Brewer actually say that this diet would be good for someone with kidney transplant failure?
--Is it really scientifically accurate to compare a healthy bodily function like pregnancy which has been serving us well for thousands of years to a disease-ridden, medication-ridden, surgically-altered situation like a kidney transplant failure?
7) Dr. Brewer first wrote up his research and findings and case studies in his thesis, published in 1966. Presumably every thesis gets a peer review as part of the process.
In the first edition, there are 76 articles in the bibliography, many of them from the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Journal Obstetric Gynaecology British Commonwealth, and Lancet, among others. Presumably every article published in those journals got a peer review before they were allowed to be published there.
In the revised edition of his thesis, published in 1982, a detailed "New Annotated Bibliography of Scientific Studies" is added, which includes 35 articles in the category of "Clinical Observations and Research", including at least one article published in JAMA in which two other doctors (not Brewer) directly linked toxemia with low serum albumin and inadequate protein intake. This bibliography also includes 41 additional entries in the category of "Books, Reviews, and Academic, Statistical and Epidemiological Studies".
8) I do not believe that this new direction in the research on PE necessarily contradicts the Brewer view on it. It seems to me, from what I have read, that it sounds as though this researcher is just finding another symptom, not a cause. It also seems to me that what he is finding is consistent with what Brewer was saying all along--except the mother-fetus conflict.
9) It also seems to me from what I have read that the findings of this research so far are not consistent. It seems that sometimes the tests confirm the theory and sometimes not.
10) The mother-baby conflict is a belief system that one must buy into to move further with the theories based on that belief system. It is not a belief system that is universally accepted in the community of health professionals--doctors, midwives, nurses, etc. Robbie Davis-Floyd, an anthropologist, has written some very thought-provoking articles on this subject, the links for which I can provide to anyone who would email me for them, unless you prefer that I post them here. You can also find them by clicking on her name, on my list of authors.
If you decide to hear the answers to the questions that I have listed above, I will be glad to post them as soon as you give me the go-ahead.