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I was searching online for homemade herbal remedies to decrease hairfall. And there was this website that had the solution I was looking for. Towards the end of the write up, the author states "this is a 90% trial treatment of hairfall." What does that mean?

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    Can you please give a link to the original text? Just the words "trial treatment" could perhaps imply that this is a treatment given as a part of a clinical trial - but in the sentence you quoted it doesn't make much sense to me. Maybe if I read a few sentences before and/or after that one it would help. – Lucky Jul 19 '15 at 16:23
  • I've tried to do a Google search on the sentence you quoted and even tried to add the key words "herbal remedy", but I couldn't find this particular construction (not even when I accepted Google's suggestion for typos correction). If this is not an article from the internet can you please quote let's say two sentences before and two after that one (with the sentence in question in bold perhaps). Or, if it is from the internet, a link would be great :-). – Lucky Jul 20 '15 at 11:41
  • strangely the page has disappered!! even am not able to find the article. google is returning no results at all! – user221238 Jul 20 '15 at 14:01
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    this is a different one, which also appears to have been taken down in the last 24 hours! i dont understand! anyways, i got this one by googling "this is a 99 trial treatment" (with quotes) – user221238 Jul 20 '15 at 14:16
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Even from the context, a definite answer cannot be given. However, I'll do my best to shed some light on relevant terminology.

The sentences:

"this is a 90% trial treatment of hairfall."

this is a 99 trial treatment of mail pattern baldnes

really don't mean anything on their own. Since the article mentions clinical trials, and the numbers 90, 95 and 99 are characteristic, my best guess would be that this refers to the confidence level, a statistical term which (long story short) describes the probability that the conclusion from your study that the tested medicine is better than the other is correct.

So, why not just say it like that? (We'll get back to that.)

There is another part of this article:

Double-blind studies determine [xyz] to be the best hair-restoration product on the market.

This sentence is rather imprecise, and therefore sounds a bit boastful.

When the study is double-blind it means that neither the patient nor the researcher knows which patient is receiving the tested substance, and which something else, until the end of the trial. So one group of patients receives the substance being tested (test group) and the other either an alternative substance used for the same condition (control group) or an inert substance, i.e. placebo (placebo group).

The first sort of trials (where you compare a new substance to an old one) are called controlled, double-blind trials. Here you can test whether your new substance is better that the old one (superiority trial), that the new substance isn't worse than the old one (non-inferiority trial) and that they are equivalent (equivalence trials). You can do something similar by comparing your substance with placebo in a placebo controlled, double-blind study, but here you would want your substance definitely to be better than placebo.

The statement that something is "the best in the market" implies that the substance/preparation is tested against (all) others on the market, but it doesn't specifically say so, does it? What's more, which other products has it been compared to, exactly? If they are not allowed to name competitor's brands, surely they could give the chemical names of other substances used as controls, or at least say how many other products have they compared theirs to. (Note that usually one comparison is one separate clinical study. More studies -> more expenses for the company).

Why haven't they addressed these issues? We can't know. Can it be that the explanation is tailored for everyone to understand? Or that some things one wouldn't boast about were just omitted?

I can only suggest that you ask a health care professional from the field, whether they have some experience with the product. If it were registered as a medicine, it would be possible to find the information on clinical trials in the Summary of Product Characteristics (usually available on the website of the medicines regulatory agency of the country where the medicine is registered). On the link that you provided (after a few clicks) it says that this is a supplement. They don't have to comply with the same regulatory requirements (don't have to submit all the data that medicines do), so I can't say where you can find the missing information.


Ref: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/about-studies/glossary

http://www.rds-sc.nihr.ac.uk/planning-a-study/study-design/quantitative-studies/clinical-trials/non-inferiority-trials/

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  • thanks lucky, for the detailed explanation. you're assuming the nos. 90,99 etc refer to confidence levels and not clinical trial results because for a medicine to cure 99% of the participants would be too impractical. right? – user221238 Jul 21 '15 at 6:01
  • @user221238 yes, but I can only assume. There's no way to be sure with those two sentences, they sound incomplete. The thing that nudged me towards this is the fact that the number is in front of the word trial (it serves like an adjective, sort of describes it) - and one of the major things in interpreting the results of clinical trials is to decide the confidence level, it partly describes the chance for your conclusion to be accurate. But, to be honest, scientific statements shouldn't leave room for guessing - they should be clear and precise. (And you're welcome :-)) – Lucky Jul 21 '15 at 9:53

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