Archive for January, 2018

Drowning in drugs – can we really poison our way to health?

Disclaimer: Some medications save lives (if used properly in a crisis). For people who are unwilling or unable to change their diet and lifestyle, drugs can help manage their chronic conditions. Of course, nothing I say below means that I recommend you stop a medication without your doctor’s advice. Note: psychiatric medications are the most dangerous to stop suddenly.

Understand that I’m not taking aim at the type of prescription that merely supplements low levels of something natural the body needs. Examples of that type are insulin for a type 1 diabetic and thyroid hormone. My worry is about chemical concoctions that have not been on the planet before. The human body has had no experience with them and those drugs typically interfere with a bodily process to calm a symptom. Unfortunately, in the process they also usually interfere with a process we need. Have you ever closed your eyes during a TV drug commercial, so that you aren’t distracted by the pretty pictures and can hear the potentially lethal side effects they mention so casually? I am also frustrated with the way drugs are marketed and prescribed. Doesn’t it seem unnatural and dangerous to you that 20% of the population take five or more drugs each day? The main reason is likely that the pharmaceutical industry has been proven to have undue influence on the FDA, the US Congress, state regulators / attorneys general, medical schools and medical journals.

Drugs may keep a symptom under control, but they rarely (if ever) cure a problem. Meds are too often prescribed when there is no proven necessity, when there are less toxic alternatives, in doses that are arbitrarily too high, for longer than makes sense, and in combinations that have never been tested (polypharmacy). Author pharmacist, Suzy Cohen, taught us in her book, Drug Muggers, that nearly all these obviously potentially toxic chemicals contribute to nutrient deficiencies. As I point out in my book Natural Alternatives to Nexium, acid-blocking heartburn drugs are only safe to use for a few weeks. One reason is that because they interfere with absorption of several nutrients (including critically important vitamin B12 and magnesium), long term use can be life-threatening.

Antibiotics have been routinely overused. Up to 50% of the time they aren’t even useful (e.g. they do not help colds caused by viruses or sinus trouble caused by yeast). They kill our good gut bacteria. Those are so amazingly beneficial that I wrote a whole book about them (The Probiotic Cure). Because tons (literally) of antibiotics are used in farming, many bacteria have become immune to their effects. That may leave us without antibiotic protection when major illness strikes.

Too many medications are only marginally more helpful than placebo or watchful waiting. Some obscenely expensive ones are no better than the cheaper variety that came before it. Many will change a test result, but precious few have been shown to prolong life.

In contrast, natural remedies are typically very safe and, because they enhance the body’s natural processes, they usually provide fringe benefits…helping something you weren’t even working on.

Check out this Library Page which lists links to save money on drugs, guides to drug safety (e.g. interactions, identify a pill, side effects, patient comments), statistics on use, evidence of willful wrongdoing by the pharmaceutical industry, vaccine info, radio interviews and helpful books on the topic.

The rest of the calcium story

For many decades starting in the 1950’s, radio broadcaster Paul Harvey would tell a story. Then, after a commercial, he would dramatically tell “The Rest of the Story”. The history of official pronouncements about the mineral calcium feels a bit like that. We were told something simple minded that sounded logical to those who didn’t study physiology. It went like this: the bones contain a lot of calcium. Therefore, to prevent osteoporosis (thinning of the bones) consume lots and lots of calcium.

Then, came the rest of the story:

  • There is a considerable amount of calcium in foods such as those shown in the picture above (thank you, Reader’s Digest). Americans have access to such foods and calcium is added to orange juice, etc. They also supplement. So, we have been consuming more calcium than any country on earth and yet, oops, have the highest rates of osteoporosis.
  • Then studies linked an excess of calcium to cardiovascular disease. We interviewed Thomas Levy, MD, JD author of Death by Calcium. (Some think the problem found was due more to low magnesium. Journal article.)
  • It takes many minerals to build bone and, yet the authorities never mention a need for even magnesium, manganese and zinc. It also requires vitamins, but the geniuses have only recommended vitamin D. (The official dietary guidelines recommend only the amount of D they guessed was needed for bone. Unfortunately, that is just a fraction of the levels required for other processes in the body. I’ve written a lot about vitamin D. Sufficiently high doses helps head off the flu. Recently, I learned that high levels help insomnia.)
  • Then, recently a review of studies failed to show significant benefit of calcium and vitamin D for bone health for seniors. Of course, the amount of vitamin D used was too low to show much of anything, but that didn’t stop the authors from telling us that we should stop worrying about supplements. Not surprisingly, the media only reported the headlines not these details.
  • Despite the very negative studies and those showing no benefit, the government (and vitamin companies) continue to recommend rather indiscriminately that folks supplement calcium.
  • In his terrific interview January 6, 2018, Bill Sardi said that the only people who should consider calcium supplements are those who do not eat dairy and other calcium-rich foods. He explained that loss of estrogen is the main culprit in bone thinning. Sardi said that functional medicine doctors can normalize estrogen using bioidentical hormones. A more conservative approach is to use plant estrogens. The only one of that category shown to help satisfy the body’s estrogen needs without also promoting cellular growth (e.g. of cancer cells) is one I have written about, resveratrol.
  • I recommend reading Bill Sardi’s detailed article about calcium, osteoporosis and resveratrol.

How could we have seen the “rest of the story” coming? We might get a clue from the Dr. Suess quote: “Sometimes the questions are complicated, and the answers are simple.”  In the eons of human history, we didn’t have osteoporosis, but we ate only whole real foods that come from nature nicely balanced in calcium and magnesium. The foods also contained plenty of plant estrogens. These days, our food supply has been depleted and corrupted despite our best efforts to eat for health. Therefore, we need to supplement. However, we need to do so in proper balance.

Highlights of Sherry Roger MD’s recent advice

Sherry Rogers, MD blew us away on last Saturday’s show with so much great information that most of us could not take notes fast enough. Also, a few points were a bit technical, so I listened to the show again to provide the highlights below. I’ve arranged the topics we covered using her T.H.I.N.K. acronym, but as you will see they are all interrelated. And, they help explain why Americans spend more on health care than any country on earth and yet rank only 37th in health!

Toxins. We talked about two guests we’ve had on HBN. One, the FDA whistle blower, Renee Joy Dufault, PhD had exposed the toxins (like mercury) in food. We often warn listeners about metal dental fillings that are composed largely of the toxic heavy metal mercury. Dr. Rogers computed that Americans consuming the typical amount of corn syrup are getting an amount of mercury equal to having a new mercury dental filling installed every day!  Dr. Rogers is also a fan of Stephanie Seneff, PhD from MIT, an expert in GMO’s and the weed killer glyphosate (e.g. Roundup). Dr. Rogers pointed out that this poison causes disease (including cancer) and that Americans have 6 times higher blood levels of that toxin than Europeans! A listener asked about acne and sweaty hands. Dr. Rogers said that when anything is coming out of the body (including diarrhea, rosacea, etc.) it is the body trying to detoxify. Detoxifying must become a way of life daily because the flow of toxins never stops.

Hormones. A reader just asked about her increase in facial hair. Perhaps that is due to menopause-related reduction in estrogen which is now too low to balance the androgens (male hormones). She also asked about losing eyebrow hair. That is most likely due to another low hormone—thyroid. The toxins noted above, pesticides, PFOA’s from Teflon, BPA (and the BPS used to replace it) all disrupt our hormone systems. They can cause thyroid problems as well as breast and prostate cancer. In our discussion of the all-important thyroid hormone, Dr. Rogers told us that many people do not effectively turn the inactive storage form (T4) into the active (T3) thyroid hormone. (The body needs the mineral selenium for that function.) Docs too often use thyroid tests that do not accurately portray the adequacy of thyroid hormone. They also seem unaware of that conversion problem and therefore don’t prescribe the most helpful drug. Those with an interest in thyroid health should probably read my blog and library article on the subject. Two listeners asked about whether biopsies of thyroid nodules were a good idea. The main risk is that they are often inconclusive and doctors believing they are being cautious, recommend removal of the thyroid. Only 5-10% of nodules are malignant.

Intestinal. Dr. Rogers told us that overgrowth of pathogens (such as yeasts boosted by antibiotics) create leaky gut. In response to foreign material entering the bloodstream, the body responds by making antibodies that may also attack organs. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an example. Thyroid antibodies besides attacking the thyroid, also attack the brain and can create dementia. Intestinal yeasts make an enzyme that destroys B1 and that leads to memory trouble. Yeasts also deplete our magnesium. Among the 500 or more processes in the body that magnesium is needed for, it protects us from heart attack, stroke, dementia, depression, seizure, back pain and so on. Dr. Rogers also told us that antibiotics (and other drugs) can lead to MS, Lupus or ALS.

“I” could also stand for interference. Our bodies run on current. Dr. Rogers said she has known people to reverse leukemia, atrial fibrillation, high blood pressure and more with something as simple as getting rid of a bad root canal on the acupuncture meridian that links energy to that struggling organ. I found this handy chart on the website of a holistic dentist in California. (Our DFW holistic dentist is Dr. Philip Kozlow. In Austin we recommend Dr. Griffin Cole.)

Nutrients. A caller asked for help because she is on 6 blood pressure medications. Dr. Rogers advised for her: magnesium, vitamin E, cod liver oil liquid in glass (NOT the prescription type), and phosphatidyl choline (Non-GMO) powder which is needed to anchor the cod liver oil’s EPA and DHA so that it can benefit the brain, arteries and the thyroid. She said that cardiologists don’t seem to know about the crucial nature of tocotrienols or that there are 8 important forms of vitamin E. Unfortunately, drug store vitamins contain synthetic E that blocks the rest of the E family and tocotrienols. (I recommend Jarrow’s Famil-E.)

Knowledge gap. Learning this stuff is hard, but we must fight back against the misinformation coming from mainstream drug-driven medicine. For example: statins (cholesterol drugs) poison the main starting point for all hormones, cell membranes and mitochondrial membranes (the powerhouses in our cells). Dr. Rogers says prescribing these will go down in history as the worst medical mistake ever. Another example: NSAIDS (pain drugs such as Advil, Aleve, Celebrex, Ibuprofen, Motrin, Naproxen, and even aspirin) promote leaky gut thereby setting us up for autoimmune diseases. That is also true of PPI’s (popular heartburn drugs). Taken for more than a couple of weeks, those drugs deplete B12 and magnesium. Knowing these facts will help you press your doctor to find natural solutions. To make learning a little less costly, Dr. Rogers offered our listeners 15% off books and newsletters through January. Prestige Publishing. 800-846-6687 (To schedule phone consultations with Dr. Rogers: 315-488-2856) 


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