Prevention is Better Than Drugs

  • 2 Jan 2014
  • Reading time 15 mins
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Back in the 1970’s my teachers Dr Linus Pauling and Abram Hoffer believed that 80% of all pharmaceutical medicines would become unnecessary if nutritional medicine became the new paradigm.

“Optimum nutrition is the medicine of tomorrow,” said twice Nobel prize winner Pauling, who had 48 PhDs. However, here we are in 2014 and both the medical profession and public alike remain largely hypnotised into thinking the way forward for the prevention and treatment of 21st century killer diseases depends on drugs.

So how did we get there and why do we need a quantum leap into the nutritional medicine era? It all started with antibiotics.

Drugs – a short history

Before the discovery of antibiotics, people died in their millions. When penicillin became available in the 1940s it literally saved hundreds of thousands of lives. The next blockbuster drug was cortisone in the 1950s. It miraculously cured people’s arthritic pain and other inflammatory disorders. Thus the myth of a drug for a bug, a pill for an ill, was born and the pharmaceutical industry started to flourish.

But then the dark side of cortisone emerged. Those on the drugs gained weight, their spines degenerated and if withdrawn suddenly, they could even die. These side effects gave birth to the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin. A very effective painkiller, but it also can cause internal bleeding. About 3,000 people in the UK die from drug-induced internal bleeding every year.

So along came the Cox 2 anti-inflammatories, like Vioxx. Painkillers without the gut damage – that was the promise. But they increased the risk of heart disease because these kinds of drugs promote blood clotting. Your joints don’t hurt, but up goes your chances of a heart attack. One expert estimated that 140,000 Americans died or now suffer from vascular problems as a result.

A similar story applies to many common drugs for today’s chronic diseases. Take statins, for example. The story was simple. Cholesterol causes heart disease. So, eat a low cholesterol diet and take cholesterol-lowering statin drugs. Egg sales went into decline, while statin sales boomed.

These were so heavily marketed that some experts have recommended putting statins in the water. In 2007 the UK government’s heart disease supremo said that every man over 50 and woman over 65 should be on them. Today, an estimated 8 million people in Britain take statins.

Doctors are financially rewarded for testing your cholesterol, and paid again to give you ......

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