Would Martians think we’re wacky?

 Healthy by Nature radio show this week
Weathermen seem to have no regard for our plans. This week was supposed to feature a live remote with a number of folks attending our special event. After the prediction for icy roads and possible power outages for Saturday, we scrambled to record the show instead. The theme became technology products that I use in my ongoing quest for optimum health. (All three of these items have terrific deals for our listeners.) I am happy to finally talk to Dr. Rick Kind about how to select a mattress that is supportive, comfortable, non-toxic and affordable. (We bought the one he designed and we love it.) Next up is holistic health educator, Jana Wilson, to tell us about the far infrared sauna, and then dietitian and health coach, Lauri Armstrong and I talk about another of my favorites, the Ezzi-lift micro-current facelift device. I also briefly discuss our national prize contest that runs from Sat Dec 7 to Sat Dec 14. Read more below and click here to find podcasts, show archives and how to listen nationwide.

What’s wrong with this picture?
A Martian (or really anyone who has not swallowed the Kool-Aid so to speak) would say there is something quite nutty about the healthcare debate in the US. I could easily have a full time job writing letters to the editors of the news media fighting the anti-natural nonsense, but usually, I just roll my eyes and go back to my mission. This week I just couldn’t hold back when the Dallas paper had a big Sunday op-ed and a Tuesday health section article maligning supplements. Here are some points selected from the letters I sent that most likely will not get published:

* The US is not having only a crisis of health insurance, but also one of health itself—we rank embarrassingly low in the industrialized world in most measures of health.

* And yet, a new University of California San Francisco study documents that Americans are suffering from over-diagnosis and unnecessary treatment. So, apparently we aren’t sick from lack of medical interventions.

* In fact, studies document that 100,000+ Americans die annually from prescription drugs taken as prescribed in hospitals, which should be the safest way. A brilliant article, Death by Medicine, includes several other studies on problems with conventional medicine to arrive at a total that makes our medical care system the leading cause of premature death in the US. One of the authors, Gary Null, wrote a book by the same name.

The only logical answer to this mess…
We must prevent disease with the kind of improvements in lifestyle and diet we discuss here and on our radio show! Nutritional supplements are part of that plan but, they are the current whipping boy of the media. I also made these points in my letters to the paper:

*By implying that all supplements may be dangerous, these media attacks will cause some readers to avoid vitamin D, garlic, omega-3 oil, magnesium and others proven to save lives.

*In contrast to drug toxicity, the U.S. National Poison Data System typically reports zero deaths each year from vitamins, minerals, amino acids, etc. While there are over 1,000 “adverse event reports” (AER) to the FDA annually, those are not followed up to see if the supplement actually caused any problem. E.g. if a 300 pound guy takes a multi-vitamin, 8 drugs, overeats at Thanksgiving and has chest pain later while shoveling snow, the doctor might report the multi-vitamin as an adverse event along with the rest. Someone thinks a pill is too big and reports it…also an AER.

*Consumers should buy only from reliable companies and be skeptical of wild claims because there are definitely rare cases where companies produce dangerous drug-laced products (like DMAA) and try to pass them off as supplements. The Food and Drug Administration has the power to remove those from the marketplace but, news articles often equate the FDA’s reluctance to act with a lack of authority to act.

* As noted before in this newsletter, the news media loves to trumpet a study when it says a supplement isn’t effective for some purpose or other. Unfortunately, reporters ignore previous positive studies and take the more recent one as the final word without checking to see if it might be flawed in some way. For example, I’ve seen supposedly replicating studies use a different (inferior) form of the substance, the wrong dosage or too short a trial.

The author replied
The author of the op-ed kindly responded to my letter to the editor. (I don’t know if she read it where the paper posts them online or they sent it to her.) She said “…the rigorous protocol of clinical trials that is necessary for FDA-approval of a drug, allows physicians and patients to make informed decisions about taking them. This is not the case for dietary supplements which can contain potentially harmful ingredients that have not undergone the same level of testing.” Here is some of what I said in my reply to her email:

* I’m not as impressed as you apparently are by the rigor of the drug approval process. Studies show that drug companies can do a dozen studies and only publish and show the FDA a couple that promote approval. Conflicts of interest on the panels are still a problem. As a health professional I also find that consumers are not making informed choices about medications but rather assuming that the doctors must know what is best. Sadly, doctors are so educated by and wooed by drug companies that they think the meds are their only option and so accept unreasonable risks. Toxic poly-pharmacy is also a growing problem as people see more and more specialists who either don’t ask what else the patient is taking or are loathe to challenging what other doctors have prescribed. No testing is done on these mixtures of medicines.

* The reason supplements cannot do the kind of research pharmaceuticals do is, they are generic substances. No company can invest millions in testing and then have other companies sell the product.

I didn’t hear back from her after that. I guess she doesn’t want to be my friend after all.

Well, this is still the big week for special deals and our prize drawing (if no longer at an actual party)–anyone in the US can participate. Win one of two gift boxes valued at  $375 each. Click here for details on that and about gift boxes worth nearly $200 are being given as bonuses with the purchase of a mattress, a far infra-red sauna or an Ezzi-lift facelift device (or pain device). You can see and test all three in the classroom Healthy by Nature shares with HealthWorksMart.com’s Outlet Store. Don’t miss out on these spectacular deals on equipment that every home should have. The deals only last through 12/14 (e.g. see Ezzi-lift) and the bonuses while supplies last.

Follow-up for 11/23
I said I’d give you two week’s worth of follow up details today, but since I actually did a newsletter last week after all, just click here to see follow up on the collagen and vitamin K2 interviews.

Last Week Follow-up
Click here to link to the archive of the 11-30 program in the archives. I asked Congressman Michael C. Burgess, MD about his plan to address a perennial health care problem, the fact that, Medicare is in financial trouble. Congress always proposes to save money in the program by (1) eliminating fraud and (2) by reducing reimbursements to doctors but, those things never happen. In the second half of the show I discussed how previous government advice to eat a lot of starch led to our current epidemic of obesity and diabetes. I explained the low glycemic diet plus a capsule, Gluc-aloe, that helps achieve weight loss and improves blood sugar levels. Jack Brown of Lily of the Desert joined me to talk about how Gluc-aloe came about.

Please help spread the good word-forward this newsletter to friends and family.
My first book : Natural Alternatives to Nexium, Maalox, Tagamet, Prilosec & Other Acid Blockers. Subtitle: What to Use to Relieve Acid Reflux, Heartburn, and Gastric Ailments.

My latest book: Aloe Vera-Modern Science Sheds Light on an Ancient Herbal Remedy

The information contained in this newsletter has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The contents are for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice.

Copyright 2013 Martie Whittekin, CCN

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