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LONDON (Reuters) - The world may be beating a path to the doors of homeopathic practitioners as an alternative to conventional medicines, but according to a new study they may just as well be taking nothing.
The study, published in Friday's edition of the respected Lancet medical journal, is likely to anger the growing numbers of devoted practitioners of and adherents to alternative therapies that include homeopathy.
Entitled "The end of homeopathy", the editorial queried how homeopathy was growing in popularity by leaps and bounds when for the past 150 years trials had found it ineffective.
The study's lead author and statistical analyst Matthias Egger of Switzerland's University of Berne, said once data from small, less rigorous trials was extracted and evident bias in both taken into account, the conclusions were inescapable.
We acknowledge that to prove a negative is impossible, but we have shown that the effects seen in placebo-controlled trials of homeopathy are compatible with the placebo-hypothesis, he wrote.