man made it, don't eat it!
If your food comes in boxes,
bottles or cans, don't eat it."
to the power and corrupting influence of Big
Pharma, the teaching of
nutritional science and the use of vitamin and herbal supplements is not
taught to any significant extent in our medical schools. The obvious
that teaching this science reduces the use of prescription
drugs." H. S. Khalsa
Pharma is remarkably good at creating diseases and convincing us that
them -- even when we don't. They've gotten so good at it that seven
out of 10 visits
to the doctor's office now result in prescriptions. In 2004, spending
medication was $188.5 billion, almost five times what was spent in
to a report by the Government Accountability Office. Are we getting
sicker? Or is
the pharmaceutical industry just getting really good at telling us
that we are sick?" Alison Fairbrother
diabetes and heart disease be caused by doctors?
Get the dope on prescribed statins.
WAS READING A SCIENTIFIC PAPER in the Journal of the American Medical
Association a number of years ago by Dr. David Jenkins from the
University of Toronto. He showed that using a combination of soy,
fiber, almonds, and plant sterols (cholesterol-lowering fats) could
lower cholesterol levels as much as statin medications. (i)
Diet can lower cholesterol as much as statins — a surprise
to many but common in my practice. Using a comprehensive approach
of diet and lifestyle change, I routinely see effects that are more
powerful than any medication. That was not why the article struck
me. It was a finding buried in the text of the paper.
What I found fascinating was that the patients who lowered their
cholesterol with statins had higher levels of insulin, while those
who lowered their cholesterol through diet had lower insulin levels.
Why is that important? Because elevated insulin levels are the first
step on the road to diabetes — they make you gain weight around
the middle, cause high blood pressure, increase inflammation, and
promote stickiness of the blood. Each of these conditions, in turn,
contributes to heart attacks and heart disease.
On reading this, the question that lingered in my mind was: Did
statins contribute to the development of pre-diabetes and diabetes
which are among the most significant risk factors for heart disease?
In other words, did lowering cholesterol with statins — a
treatment purported to reduce the risk of heart disease —
actually increase the risk of heart disease by some other mechanism?
In treating thousands of patients with pre-diabetes, diabetes, high
cholesterol, and heart disease, I have noticed one thing: Lowering
insulin through diet and lifestyle corrects almost all of the risk
factors for heart disease. It lowers blood pressure, increases good
cholesterol (HDL), lowers triglycerides and bad cholesterol (LDL),
leads to weight loss, lower levels of inflammation (C-reactive protein),
and thins the blood. Lowering insulin even increases the light fluffy
harmless cholesterol and lowers the level of small dense harmful
Lowering insulin is a good thing. However, statins — the best
selling class of drugs on the market — appear not to do this.
Do they actually increase the risk for diabetes and thus heart disease
by increasing insulin levels? See Drug
"Death by medicine is a 21st-century epidemic, and America's "war on drugs" is clearly directed at the wrong enemy! Prescription drugs are now killing far more people than illegal drugs, and while most major causes of preventable deaths are declining, those from prescription drug use are increasing, an analysis of recently released data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) by the Los Angeles Times revealed." -- Mercola.com
Truth about Statins and Insulin
answer, according to a recent study in the Lancet, is yes statins
do increase the risk of diabetes. (ii)
The authors completed a meta-analysis of both published and unpublished
randomized controlled trials from 1994 to 2009 for a total patient
group of 91,140 who were treated with statins or a placebo. In the
patients treated with statins there was a 9 percent increase in
the risk of diabetes. The authors suggest this is a minimal risk
and that current guidelines for cholesterol treatment should not
change. I would suggest we think a little more deeply.
Nutrition, exercise, and stress management can no longer be considered
alternative medicine. They are essential medicine.
The study did not analyze any data for pre-diabetes, which dramatically
increases the risk of heart disease well before a formal diagnosis
of diabetes can be made. It could be that by taking these medications
many people developed pre-diabetes or their pre-diabetic condition
worsened. If this is true, the full risk of statins was not appreciated.
The researchers also failed to consider a simple question: Why should
we use a medication with significant potential risks when other
treatments have proven MORE effective for reducing the risk of heart
The treatment I’m talking about is dietary and lifestyle change-popularly
referred to as lifestyle medicine. The recent “EPIC”
study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine studied 23,000
people’s adherence to 4 simple behaviors-not smoking, exercising
3.5 hours a week, eating a healthy diet (fruits, vegetables, beans,
whole grains, nuts, seeds, and low meat consumption), and keeping
a healthy weight (BMI less than 30). In those that adhered, 93 percent
of diabetes, 81 percent of heart attacks, 50 percent of strokes,
and 36 percent of all cancers were prevented. (iii)
The fundamental focus of lifestyle or functional approaches (which
includes nutrition, exercise, and stress management) is the restoration
of normal function and balance in each individual. When you do this,
risk factors and symptoms go away automatically. Conventional interventions,
on the other hand, are primarily focus on blocking, interfering
with, or excising a biochemical or physical manifestation of disease.
This is the reason biology shifts towards normal when using lifestyle
medicine, instead of medication, and the only side effects are good
ones: weight loss, more energy, better sleep, increased well being,
a reduction of most disease, and increased longevity.
While it is still a matter of public debate, there is ample evidence
that lifestyle therapies equal or exceed the benefits of conventional
therapies such as medication and surgery. Nutrition, exercise, and
stress management can no longer be considered alternative medicine.
They are essential medicine, and often the most effective and cost-effective
therapies to deal with the chronic disease epidemic that afflicts
millions of Americans and is now the primary cause of death worldwide.
Addressing the Global Burden of Chronic Disease
disease has replaced infectious and acute illnesses as the leading
cause of death in the world, both in developed and developing countries.
(iv) In 2002, the
leading chronic diseases, including heart disease (17 million),
cancer (7 million), chronic lung diseases (4 million), and diabetes
(1 million), caused 29 million deaths worldwide. These ailments
are almost entirely attributable to lifestyle risk factors including
poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, and tobacco and alcohol use. The
misperception that these diseases affect primarily developed and
affluent societies has led to a misappropriation of resources, which
fails to deal with the exponential growth of chronic lifestyle --
and diet-related disease.
By 2030, 50 million will die from preventable chronic diseases compared
to less than 20 million from infectious diseases. We need to include
chronic disease in our global efforts to improve health. In Haiti,
the poorest nation in the Western hemisphere, the major admitting
diagnoses to the largest and main public health hospital where I
worked after the earthquake in January 2010 was not tuberculosis
or AIDS, but heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension related heart
The major global health policy makers and agencies do not allocate
appropriate resources to the prevention of chronic lifestyle diseases
either because they have yet to recognize the problem or the economic
and social benefits of focusing on chronic disease are underestimated.
Heads of state, health ministries, the World Health Organization,
academic and research institutions, non-governmental organizations,
private donors, the World Bank, and the United Nations allocate
only a fraction of their resources to chronic disease prevention
despite a rich evidence base for the role of lifestyle and diet
in the prevention of the major chronic diseases.
When compared to doing nothing, the argument can be made for high
cost, technological interventions. When compared to changing our
medical care system from one focused on treating end-stage disease,
to one whose goal is to prevent disease and promote optimal health
through nutrition, lifestyle, stress management, and adjunctive
complementary therapies, the conversation shifts dramatically.
Lifestyle, and Chronic Disease:
A Model for Increased Quality of Care and Lower Costs
Let’s briefly look at the science of nutrition and compare
it to efforts for preventing or treating chronic disease with medication.
This will highlight the powerful, cost-effective, and critical role
nutrition plays in the cause, prevention, and treatment of chronic
Science provides a firm foundation for moving nutritional and lifestyle
interventions to the center of medical practice and public policy.
(v) A single nutrient,
food, or lifestyle habit when studied as an isolated intervention,
while helpful, may not show significant effect, but when assessed
collectively, the power of lifestyle over pharmacological approaches
to prevent and treat chronic disease is overwhelming. That is why
we have to stop looking at single nutrients or interventions and
look at the whole picture. In his recent article in the Journal
of the American Medical Association, Dr. David Ludwig of Harvard
calls for a shift from a nutrient-based to a whole foods-based approach
to our dietary guidelines. (vi)
He indicts our current dietary guidelines showing how these recommendations
have led to our chronic disease epidemic. Let us eat food, he says
— real, whole, fresh, complex, interesting food. It’s
the whole picture, not just fats or carbs or this or that nutrient
that makes a difference.
For example, healthful lifestyle practices in an elderly population
that included eating a whole foods Mediterranean-style diet, exercising
moderately, not smoking, and moderate alcohol consumption were associated
with nearly a 70 percent reduction in death from all causes. (vii)
What’s remarkable is that these people didn’t start
this healthy lifestyle until they were 70 years old, yet they still
reduced their risk of death by 70 percent compared to a similar
group of elderly who didn’t follow a healthy lifestyle.
Other studies (viii),
showed similar results including an 83 percent reduction in heart
disease, (xi) 91 percent
reduction in diabetes in women, (xii)
and a 71 percent reduction in colon cancer in men. (xiii)
The Lyon Diet Heart Study, (xiv)
showed a 79 percent reduction in heart disease in patients with
established heart disease after a few years of following a Mediterranean
diet. In another study of patients with existing heart disease,
an integrated lifestyle approach of a plant-based diet, exercise,
smoking cessation, and stress reduction found a 50 percent reduction
in heart attacks and heart disease related deaths. (xv)
The evidence is simply overwhelming that healthful dietary patterns
which include whole grains, legumes, nuts, vegetables, fruits, olive
oil, fish, and, perhaps, moderate alcohol intake are associated
with a decrease in chronic disease and death from all causes. The
harmful effects of trans and certain saturated fats, refined carbohydrates,
and other food additives or toxins are well known in the medical
It is time to start putting into practice what we know, and stop
the domination of our medical practice by the pharmaceutical industry.
The Lancet paper on how statins increase the risk of diabetes should
be front-page news. Medications such as statins that cost more,
are less effective, and lead to serious side effects including diabetes
should not be our first line of treatment for preventing or treating
heart disease. The recent proposal that statins be handed out with
cheeseburgers and fries at fast food restaurants is dangerous and
misses the point.
You can’t eat a horrible diet, avoid exercise and expect to
be healthy. A whole foods, plant-based diet, moderate physical activity,
not smoking, and creating a supportive social network of friends
and family is the best medicine. It works in ways we don’t
yet understand and don’t need to-just eat real food, enjoy,
and don’t worry. Your body knows what to do from there.
Jenkins D.J., Kendall, C.W., Marchie, A., et. al. 2003. Effects
of a dietary portfolio of cholesterol-lowering foods vs Lovastatin
on serum lipids and C-reactive protein. JAMA. 290(4): 502-10.
(ii) Sattar, N., Preiss, D., Murray, H., et. al. 2010. Statins and
risk of incident diabetes: A collaborative meta-analysis of randomised
statin trials. Lancet. 375(9716): 735-42.
(iii) Ford E.S., Bergmann M.M., Kroger J., et. al. 2009. Healthy
living is the best revenge: findings from the European Prospective
Investigation Into Cancer and Nutrition-Potsdam study. Arch Intern
Med. 169(15): 1355-62.
(iv) Yach D., Hawkes C., Gould C.L., et. al. 2004. Global burden
of chronic diseases: Overcoming impediments to prevention and control.
JAMA. 291(21): 26.
(v) Rimm E.B., and M.J. Stampfer. 2004. Diet, lifestyle, and longevity-the
next steps? JAMA. 292(12): 1490-2. No abstract available.
(vi) Mozaffarian, D. and D.S. Ludwig. 2010. Dietary guidelines in
the 21st century-a time for food. JAMA. 304(6): 681-682.
(vii) Knoops K.T., de Groot L.C., Kromhout D., et. al. 2004. Mediterranean
diet, lifestyle factors, and 10-year mortality in elderly European
men and women: The HALE project. JAMA. 292(12): 1433-9.
(viii) Trichopoulou A., Costacou T., Bamia C., et. al. 2003. Adherence
to a Mediterranean diet and survival in a Greek population. N Engl
J Med. 348(26): 2599-608.
(ix) Salmeron J., Manson J.E., Stampfer M.J., et. al. 1997. Dietary
fiber, glycemic load, and risk of non-insulin-dependent diabetes
mellitus in women. JAMA. 277(6): 472-477.
(x) Liu S., Willett W.C. 2002. Dietary glycemic load and atherothrombotic
risk. Curr Atheroscler Rep. 4(6): 454-461.
(xi) Stampfer M.J., Hu F.B., Manson J.E., et. al. 2000. Primary
prevention of coronary heart disease in women through diet and lifestyle.
N Engl J Med. 343: 16-22.
(xii) Hu F.B., Manson J.E., Stampfer M.J., et al. 2001. Diet, lifestyle,
and the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus in women. N Engl J Med.
(xiii) Platz E.A., Willett W.C., Colditz G.A., et. al. 2000. Proportion
of colon cancer risk that might be preventable in a cohort of middle-aged
US men. Cancer Causes Control. 11(7): 579-588.
(xiv) de Lorgeril M., Renaud S., Mamelle N., et. al. 1994. Mediterranean
alpha-linolenic acid-rich diet in secondary prevention of coronary
heart disease. Lancet. 343: 1454-1459. [published correction appears
in: Lancet. 1995; 345(8951): 738].
(xv) Ornish D., Scherwitz L.W., Billings J.H., et. al. 1998. Intensive
lifestyle changes for reversal of coronary heart disease. JAMA.
corporation's first purpose is to make money for
its stockholders, not to serve the needs of consumers.
The BP-Gulf Coast oil disaster is an example of what can happen
happen as a result of a corporation's obsession with profits and their
indifference and insensitivity to peoples' needs." -- Opticianry Review
with a health care professional should occur before applying
adjustments or treatments to the body, consuming medications
or nutritional supplements and before dieting, fasting or exercising.
None of these activities are herein presented as substitutes
for competent medical treatment. See