Imagine the Revolution!

Are you sick and tired of a medical industry that's influenced by drug reps trained in communication skills, sales, and profit margins; and with research funded and designed to benefit pharmaceutical companies?

Are you fed up with a health care system, including dietitians and nurse educators who encourage diabetics to eat dangerously or serve pizza, fried chicken, and beef 'n noodles to severely ill patients?

Are you disappointed that our educational system puts no value in instructing students in optimal health and longevity?  How fulfilling and productive is a career intermingled with food addiction, hangovers, and disease?  What enjoyment and satisfaction is there in a beautiful home and nice car mixed with alcoholism, eating disorders, heart disease, pain meds, chemo treatments, diabetes, and broken relationships?

Are you saddened by a culture that models, by example, and promotes gluttonous pleasures and indulgences?  What will happen to a society in which eating for disease has run rampant? 

Are you disturbed by the fact that a quarter of a million dollars can be spent on a heart surgery that would have been easy to avoid with a proper diet-style?  Are you equally disturbed that $110 can be spent on a small vial of insulin for type 2 diabetes, when eating healthfully would've resolved it ~ while entire families go to bed hungry?  Is it even ethical to squander such financial resources?   Do we need more medical care or more health education?

  • Imagine the revolution.

  • Imagine medical care and treatments that get people well based on scientific nutritional research instead of unsuccessfully managing diseases based on financial gains and losses.

  • Imagine an education system that values instruction in optimal health and longevity as a top priority for all students; no child left behind.

  • Imagine an entire society that has eradicated food addiction and nearly 80% of its diseases.

  • Imagine the financial and emotional burdens lifted as a result of no more heart bypass surgeries, cancers, dementia, chemical restraints, and vials of insulin.

The change of one is a transformation.

The change of many is a revolution.

Change begins with you and me.

Let’s all be that change.

It's time for the revolution!

 

NutritionalResearch.org

 

Painting credit: “Washington Crossing the Delaware” by Emanuel Leutze; 1851; oil on canvas; Metropolitan Museum of Art

Photography credit:  (c) by Emily Boller

 

Weight-loss drug Meridia increases heart attack and stroke risk

Meridia (Sibutramine) is an appetite suppressant, and is prescribed by physicians to help obese individuals lose weight. Meridia works by blocking the reuptake of certain neurotransmitters in the brain related to appetite. Meridia was shown to reduce food intake and body weight compared to placebo in several trials[1]. However there is no such thing as a drug without side effects.

Concerns regarding adverse cardiovascular events led to a large clinical trial in order to assess Meridia’s safety In 2009, preliminary results from the trial prompted European health officials to withdraw the drug from the market. The final results were published in 2010 in the New England Journal of Medicine, and due to those results, the manufacturer stopped producing Meridia. [2] 

The trial evaluated cardiovascular events in subjects assigned to either Meridia or placebo over approximately three years. The trial’s 10,000 participants were overweight or obese individuals over age 55 with either cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, or both. The average weight loss on Meridia was 9.5 lbs. Although the researchers found no increase in death rates among Meridia users, they did find a 28% increase in risk of heart attack, and a 36% increase in risk of stroke. [3]

Weight loss is beneficial for overall health, in part because it helps to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. So essentially, this drug had the exact opposite of its intended effect. Plus the weight loss in this trial was miniscule – 9.5 lbs. is inconsequential for someone who is obese. The Nutritarian diet-style has helped many people lose 50 lbs., 100 lbs., or more and keep it off. Plus healthy eating does not carry an increased risk of cardiovascular events – it only reduces risk.

The bottom line: there are no shortcuts to weight loss or to good health.

 

References:

1. Tziomalos, K., G.E. Krassas, and T. Tzotzas, The use of sibutramine in the management of obesity and related disorders: an update. Vasc Health Risk Manag, 2009. 5(1): p. 441-52.
2. Heavey, S. Diet drug Meridia study renews calls for U.S. ban. 9/1/2010 9/9/2010]; Available from: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38962866/ns/health-diet_and_nutrition/.
3. James, W.P., et al., Effect of sibutramine on cardiovascular outcomes in overweight and obese subjects. N Engl J Med, 2010. 363(10): p. 905-17.

 

Blood pressure control with medication does not prevent heart attack, stroke, or death

One in 3 adults in the U.S. has hypertension. In those over the age of 55, more than 50% have hypertension, which is a significant risk factor for heart attack and stroke. Sixty-nine percent heart attack sufferers and 77% of stroke sufferers have blood pressure higher than 140/90 mm Hg.1 Many organizations recommend that blood pressure be kept below 130/80 in order to prevent heart attack and stroke. However, a meta-analysis of 61 studies has concluded that risk for heart attack and stroke begins to increase when blood pressure is elevated above 115/75.2

The INVEST study involved 22,576 hypertensive participants aged 50 years or older. This particular portion of the study focused on participants that had both diabetes and coronary artery disease, in addition to hypertension . Subjects were given anti-hypertensive drugs (either a calcium channel blocker or a beta-blocker), and were placed in one of three groups according to their level of blood pressure control: tight control (<130), usual control (130-139), or uncontrolled (>139). Incidences of heart attack, stroke, and death were recorded over an 8-year period. Scientists found no differences in any of these outcomes between tight and usual control groups.3,4

This is a classic example of treating the symptom rather than the cause. Of course heart attacks and strokes were not prevented – one specific symptom, blood pressure, was addressed with medication, but the patients already had heart disease and diabetes, and they did not eliminate the toxic diet style that was the initial cause of these conditions. Therefore, their heart disease continued to progress.

Blood pressure can be kept under control naturally. High blood pressure is almost non-existent in non-Westernized populations.5-7 Salt and added sugars are significant contributors to elevated blood pressure, and these must be minimized. Reducing salt consumption alone has the potential to save millions of lives.8 A diet of whole plant foods also provides a favorable ratio of potassium to sodium. another important factor in blood pressure regulation.9

Most importantly, a diet based on natural plant foods does not merely address the problem with blood pressure; by maximizing protective nutrients, it reduces every risk factor for heart disease – LDL cholesterol, inflammation, insulin resistance, oxidative stress, etc. – a high nutrient diet is the most comprehensive preventive measure.

Also remember that anti-hypertension medications have plenty of side effects, including fatigue, headaches, and lightheadedness, plus increased risk of developing cardiac arrhythmias and diabetes. 10-12 In fact, excessive blood pressure lowering with medication can be dangerous, especially for the elderly, because it can prevent adequate blood flow to the heart leading to cardiac arrthymias and sudden cardiac death.13 Dietary modifications and exercise can radically prolong your life, not only are they much safer than drugs, but they also prevent dementia, cancer and other diseases simultaneously. If you have not read it already, please read my book Eat For Health, so you can more fully understand some of these basic concepts to take back control of your health destiny. Drugs don’t do it.

 

References:
1. American Heart Association. High Blood Pressure - Statistics. Statistical Fact Sheets - Disease/Risk Factors 2010 August 26, 2010]; Available from: http://www.americanheart.org/downloadable/heart/1261003279882FS14HBP10.pdf.
2. Lewington, S., et al., Age-specific relevance of usual blood pressure to vascular mortality: a meta-analysis of individual data for one million adults in 61 prospective studies. Lancet, 2002. 360(9349): p. 1903-13.
3. Cooper-DeHoff, R.M., et al., Tight blood pressure control and cardiovascular outcomes among hypertensive patients with diabetes and coronary artery disease. JAMA, 2010. 304(1): p. 61-8.
4. Schwenk, T., Blood Pressure Control in Patients with Diabetes and Coronary Artery Disease: No benefit for lowering BP to <130/80 mm Hg, in Journal Watch General Medicine. 2010.
5. Murphy, H.B., Blood pressure and culture. The contribution of cross-cultural comparisons to psychosomatics. Psychother Psychosom, 1982. 38(1): p. 244-55.
6. Cooper, R., et al., The prevalence of hypertension in seven populations of west African origin. Am J Public Health, 1997. 87(2): p. 160-8.
7. He, J., et al., Body mass and blood pressure in a lean population in southwestern China. Am J Epidemiol, 1994. 139(4): p. 380-9.
8. He, F.J. and G.A. MacGregor, Reducing population salt intake worldwide: from evidence to implementation. Prog Cardiovasc Dis, 2010. 52(5): p. 363-82.
9. Cook, N.R., et al., Joint effects of sodium and potassium intake on subsequent cardiovascular disease: the Trials of Hypertension Prevention follow-up study. Arch Intern Med, 2009. 169(1): p. 32-40.
10. Swaminathan, R.V. and K.P. Alexander, Pulse pressure and vascular risk in the elderly: associations and clinical implications. Am J Geriatr Cardiol, 2006. 15(4): p. 226-32; quiz 133-4.
11. Mitchell, G.F., et al., Pulse pressure and risk of new-onset atrial fibrillation. JAMA, 2007. 297(7): p. 709-15.
12. Elliott, W.J. and P.M. Meyer, Incident diabetes in clinical trials of antihypertensive drugs: a network meta-analysis. Lancet, 2007. 369(9557): p. 201-7.
13. Messerli, F.H., et al., Dogma disputed: can aggressively lowering blood pressure in hypertensive patients with coronary artery disease be dangerous? Ann Intern Med, 2006. 144(12): p. 884-93.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drugs used to treat preventable diseases carry serious risks (Part 2 - ARBs)

Part 2:

Angiotensin receptor blockers - anti-hypertensive drugs – linked to lung cancer and heart-related deaths

lungs

Angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARBs) are used to to treat hypertension, heart failure, and diabetic nephropathy (kidney dysfunction). They work by blocking a hormone system that regulates vascular tone and water and salt balance to control blood pressure.

Because angiotensin can affect cell survival and angiogenesis (formation of new blood vessels), two important factors in tumor growth, angiotensin is thought to play a role in cancer progression.1 To determine whether taking ARBs affected cancer risk, scientists performed a meta-analysis of several studies to uncover any possible links between ARBs and cancers. They determined that ARBs carry a increased risk of new diagnosis of any cancer (8%), and a significantly higher risk of lung cancer (25%).2

One ARB in particular, olmesartan (Benicar), is now under scrutiny by the FDA for potential cardiovascular risks. In a clinical trial testing olmesartan’s efficacy for slowing kidney damage in diabetics, there were increased rates of sudden cardiac death and death from heart attack and stroke in the subjects taking the drug compared to those taking placebo.3

In my practice, and from results recorded from members at DrFuhrman.com, even people with dramatically high blood pressure readings and dramatically high cholesterol levels have successfully returned their levels to normal without medications. In fact, as published in the medical journal Metabolism, the nutritarian diet is the most effective method to lower high cholesterol, even more effective than drugs.4 If people were very informed of these results and the risks involved with taking medications many more would certainly embrace nutritional excellence as therapy. High cholesterol and high blood pressure are lifestyle-created conditions, and the safest and most effective treatment is a high nutrient diet and exercise.

 

 

References:

1. Li H, Qi Y, Li C, et al. Angiotensin type 2 receptor-mediated apoptosis of human prostate cancer cells.Mol Cancer Ther. 2009 Dec;8(12):3255-65.

Feng Y, Wan H, Liu J, et al. The angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 in tumor growth and tumor-associated angiogenesis in non-small cell lung cancer. Oncol Rep. 2010 Apr;23(4):941-8.

Zhao Y, Chen X, Cai1 L, et al. Angiotensin II / Angiotensin II type I receptor (AT1R) signaling promotes MCF-7 breast cancer cells survival via PI3-kinase/Akt pathway. J Cell Physiol. 2010 May 10. [Epub ahead of print]

2. Sipahi I, Debanne SM, Rowland DY, et al. Angiotensin-receptor blockade and risk of cancer: meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. Lancet Oncol. 2010 Jun 11. [Epub ahead of print]

3. Reuters: UPDATE 2 – FDA looking into death risk from Daiichi’s Benicar. http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN1113920620100611

4. Jenkins DJ, Kendall CW, Popovich DG, et al. Effect of a very-high-fiber vegetable, fruit, and nut diet on serum lipids and colonic function. Metabolism. 2001 Apr;50(4):494-503.

Drugs used to treat preventable diseases carry serious risks (Part 1 - statins)

Never forget, you don’t get something for nothing when it comes to medications. All medications have side effects, most of them potentially serious.Typically a drug has to be on the market for many years to discern all the long-term risks. Recently, news has come out exposing serious adverse effects of two types of drugs that are used to treat high cholesterol and high blood pressure – statins and angiotensin receptor blockers.  The pharmaceutical industry performing their own “research” has a long and consistent record of covering up discovered dangers of their products and embellishing the advantages. Of course, physicians also give the impression that drugs are necessary, when in fact they are not. 

Pill bottle

 

1. Statins – cholesterol-lowering drugs

Researchers examined medical records of over 2 million statin users in England and Wales in order to quantify side effects during the first 5 years of statin use.

The conditions that were found to be associated with statin use were:

  • Moderate to serious liver dysfunction
  • Acute renal failure
  • Moderate to serious myopathy (impaired muscle function)
  • Cataracts1

Statins have also been linked to increased diabetes risk in another recent study.

Statins, which block a key enzyme in the body’s production of cholesterol, are the most widely prescribed class of drugs in the U.S. Statin use is growing, and will soon be expanding even to those who do not have elevated LDL levels, based on the recent (drug-company funded) JUPITER study.2 More widespread statin use will continue to give Americans a false sense of security, that they are protected from cardiovascular disease when they are only treating a single symptom. Only excellent nutrition, not drugs, can provide complete protection against heart disease. With widespread use of statins, the nutritional causes of heart disease are not addressed, and a significant number of liver dysfunction, renal failure, myopathy, and cataract cases will be produced. The authors of the statin adverse effect study stressed that physicians should weigh the possible risks and benefits before placing someone on a statin. But since it is rare that a person (on a nutritarian diet) would actually require a statin, realistically the benefits do not weigh heavily. These adverse effects are simply unacceptable when the alternative to these drugs is a nutrient-dense diet and exercise, treatments with only positive side effects.

 

References:

1. Hippisley-Cox J, Coupland C. Unintended effects of statins in men and women in England and Wales: population based cohort study using the QResearch database. BMJ 2010 May 20;340:c2197.

2. Spatz ES et al. From here to JUPITER: identifying new patients for statin therapy using data from the 1999-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes. 2009 Jan;2(1):41-8.

Saturday Night Live pokes fun at our drug-oriented culture

In our society, it’s normal to take multiple medications every day. We have accepted a belief-system that medicines are our answer to a better, healthier life, while we eat ourselves into pain, suffering and a premature death. We treat preventable chronic diseases with medications instead of treating their causes. We are offered risky medication for osteoporosis and osteopenia, while proper exercise and Vitamin D sufficiency is ignored. We are bombarded by television commercials advertising the next drug that claims to ‘fix’ us, followed by a long list of potential side effects that we choose to ignore.

At least Saturday Night Live understands. This parody, is a take on the Boniva ad featuring Sally Field. Here we are introduced to Preniva – a drug you can take even if there’s nothing wrong with you!

School Kids Might Get Swine Flu Shots

Swine flu has everyone freaked! I guess the news that piggy flu hit all 50 states and was declared the first pandemic of the 21st century scared people silly. That’s why some officials at the U.S. Health and Human Services Department envision a scenario where vaccinating kids in school is logical. What a pay day for drug companies! Here are Dr. Fuhrman’s thoughts on this:

We don't know yet if this swine flu is really a significant risk enough to our country and the world to generate and distribute a vaccine for it in this time frame. It may even be gone by then.

But for sure, it has generated a great marketing opportunity for the drug companies and vaccine manufacturers and it is likely that as large numbers of children and adults become vaccinated, the people harmed from the inoculations will likely be greater than those harmed by the flu.

We have to wait and see how virulent and potentially dangerous this turns out to be. For now, it has not developed into anything that warrants such a dramatic intervention.

Via DiscoveryNews.

Image credit: zen

Mildred Drops the Weight and Her Cholesterol

 

As you can see, lots of people have shaped up and reclaimed their health. Like Trulie, she slimmed down and today she looks great and loves her fruits and vegetables. Now take Mildred, healthy eating and better living lowered her cholesterol and gave her newfound energy:

Early in the program, my number one goal was to choose to regain lost health and proper weight by losing excess fat, pounds and inches. Lowell also chose to be free of digestive problems.

After being on the plan for approximately a year and a half I think it’s safe to say it’s been successful. Praise the Lord! Neither of us takes any prescription drugs. I have reached my goal of 40 pounds and have lost 13 inches in my waist. Now my goal is to maintain and continue a healthy lifestyle.

Over a 15 month period, my total cholesterol went from 199 to 172, triglycerides from 138 to 69, HDL 35 to 40, LDL 136 to 118, TC/HDL 5.6 to 4.3, glucose 131 to 97, blood pressure 148/90 to 132/78 and weight 149.4 pounds to 117.6 pounds. When I started on the plan, my weight was 152 pounds. It’s now 112…continue reading.

How Healthy is Artie Lange's Poor Liver...

I’m a huge Howard Stern fan and I love sidekick Artie Lange. He’s hilarious, but very unhealthy. Artie’s a recovering drug addict and heavy drinker. He’s obese, smokes and loves cupcakes and fast food. Now, Artie knows he’s a mess and is trying to get better, but for some reason he is always worried about his liver, it’s a running joke, but I was curious. So, I asked Dr. Fuhrman what liver health might mean for somebody with Artie’s past:

The leading cause of death for obese people is heart disease, not liver failure. But, the problem is they can suffer tremendously with heart failure, circulatory impairment, swollen legs, infections and pain before they die.

Abnormalities on a "liver function" blood test occur because dying and injured liver cells give off enzymes as they die into the blood stream. Fortunately the liver is a forgiving organ and can regenerate and heal itself before something like cirrhosis sets in.

Nevertheless, if your habits are so poor to injure your liver you have most likely also damaged other organs.

Image credit: dearsomeone

Health-Points: Friday 4.3.09

Image credit: mollybob