This review discusses several examples, 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 pseudoplacebo.
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.
Keywords: Placebo, hormesis; nutrition, phytoestrogens, soy, osteoarthritis, acetylcysteine
Rights & PermissionsPrintExport