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Posted April 17, 2013: by Bill Sardi
Modern medicine’s often repeated mantra is that dietary supplements are unproven and therefore cannot make any claim they prevent, treat or cure any disease like FDA-approved drugs do. But who can believe that only synthetically made patentable molecules exclusively cure diseases? Most people know vitamin C cures scurvy, vitamin D prevents rickets, vitamin B1 reverses beri beri, vitamin B12 remedies pernicious anemia, but no dietary supplement company can make those claims on their label because their product hasn’t been tested for that purpose. And it’s not like food fortification has eliminated these vitamin deficiencies. In fact, most Americans suffer the consequences of these nutrient deficiencies over their lifetime.
And while the FDA and other health agencies chase down side effects for dietary supplements they are helping Big Pharma hide all their negative clinical trials that have never been published. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have needlessly died as even doctors cannot access information about a drug’s failures. Yet FDA-approved drugs smugly claim they are safe and effective while dietary supplements are unproven.
And look at all the foot dragging over a promising natural molecule like resveratrol. It is the key red wine molecule believed to be responsible for the French Paradox – the fact that the red wine-drinking French have a far lower rate of mortality from heart disease (90 per 100,000) than North Americans 200-240 per 100,000), but no bottler of red wine or red wine resveratrol pills can make any general claim their products prevent heart disease.
In the 8 years since resveratrol pills have become commonly available, the National Institutes of Health hasn’t sponsored a single human clinical trial to demonstrate the effectiveness of resveratrol for heart problems. It appears cardiology fears this molecule.
To this author’s knowledge there is only one cardiologist who regularly prescribes resveratrol pills and a Medicare audit of his patients recently showed none of their 1st-time heart attack patients have experienced a 2nd heart attack nor have any of his high-risk patients progressed to experience a 1st-time heart attack. This is what humanity is missing because of modern medicine’s unjustifiable aversion to using dietary supplements (more about resveratrol below).
With the public caught in the middle of the battle between the FDA-Big Pharma establishment and the dietary supplement advocates, few Americans facing serious maladies realize dietary supplements may be their only option to ever regain their health. Some documented examples are presented below.
It would be a shock to learn that many cases of heart failure are nothing more than the result of a vitamin B1 deficiency. Cardiologists don’t test for this vitamin deficiency, falsely believing the diet provides adequate nutrition. Yet an estimated 33% of patients admitted to a hospital for heart failure are B1 deficient. Cardiologists are largely unaware that refined sugar and commonly consumed beverages (wine, beer, tea, coffee) deplete vitamin B1. Coffee and tea are beverages that are commonly available for consumption in a hospital ward where patients with heart failure are treated. Heart failure induced by a shortage of vitamin B1 is known as wet beri beri (fluid surrounding the heart) but is largely believed to be a third-world phenomenon.
The patient in heart failure is treated with standard medications to reduce the fluid load in the circulatory system with use of water pills (diuretics) which deplete vitamin B1. Digitalis is a common drug used to treat heart failure, which also depletes vitamin B1. The patients never get well. All of the drugs used to waylay heart failure are inappropriate and cannot substitute for vitamin B1. Yet it is rarely prescribed.
Blood tests will not reliably determine a B1 shortage because this water soluble vitamin is rapidly excreted and drugs that deplete B1 reduce tissue levels of this essential vitamin, not necessarily blood levels. B1 needs daily replenishment. A fat-soluble form of this vitamin (benfotiamine) is available to help treat true deficiencies but is rarely prescribed.
Many other drugs deplete vitamin B1. Included in the list are many antibiotics (penicillin, amoxicillin, ciprofloxacin, gentamycin, kanamycin, minoxycycline, neomycin, doxycycline and tetracycline). Theophylline, a drug used to treat asthma, dilantin (phenytoin), used to treat seizures, also interfere with vitamin B1.
According to a Mayo Clinic report, the drug riluzole (Rilutek) is the first and only medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration for slowing ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). This $1600/month drug adds about 2-3 months to normal survival time for this progressive mortal nervous disease.
To develop a cure for this disease one would have to know its cause. But that is still in question. A National Institutes of Health monograph states that “the cause of ALS is not known, and scientists do not yet know why ALS strikes some people and not others.” So any drug therapies would likely address symptoms rather than causes.
One hypothesis theorizes ALS’ origin lies in an attack on motor neurons by a species of bacteria (Clostridium). However, the use of antibiotics has not been successful in animal models of the disease. But the animals would have had to have been infected with a bacterium like Clostridium to put this hypothesis to an accurate test.
If animal lab results can be translated to humans then the red wine molecule resveratrol (rez-vair-ah-trol) should be considered before riluzole, the $1600/month drug. That is because resveratrol worked to protect brain neurons against effects of a nerve toxin while riluzole did not.
With no effective drug in sight, we read of a human study conducted by researchers in Italy. ALS patients, 40-70 years of age, were given acetyl-L-carnitine (3000 mg per day), a dietary supplement commonly available in health food stores. Median survival was 45 months for the carnitine-treated patients and 22 months for patients given an inactive placebo. That $2.00-a-day dietary supplement added 23 months to their life. Compare that to the $1600/month drug.
A technology that is over 95% safe and effective is modern cataract removal and lens implant replacement surgery. Why prevent cataracts when there is such a fool-proof technology available?
Well, first, much of the world still has no access or adequate incomes to obtain modern cataract surgery. Also, cataracts are a predictor of early mortality. Removal of the cataract does not erase that biological threat, likely posed by a compromised internal antioxidant system. Possibly antioxidant supplements are indicated. Third, if an invasive eye operation could be delayed or avoided, despite the success of modern surgery, that would be the choice of the patient, not the doctor. Yet patients signing a surgical consent form for cataract surgery are not offered a well-proven alternative.
A WebMD report regarding cataracts says “there is no proven method of preventing them.”
In a country where modern cataract surgery is not often affordable, a Russian eye physician developed an eye drop that clears up cloudy cataracts. This eye drop has been widely studied and has been demonstrated to reverse cataracts in controlled studies. But it is not given as an option to patients who may not even be able to adequately read their consent form. Patients never hear about it. It is a nutrient eye drop that delivers an antioxidant amino acid to the eye.
This Russian eye doctor went on to show that this amino acid eye drop rapdily clears up cloudy cataracts after only a 4-month daily regimen. These eye drops have been shown to improve vision in better than 9 out of 10 patients.
Claims this eye drop effectively remedies cataracts are forbidden. So it is widely sold as a “wetting or lubricating eye drop.”
Strikingly, many a veterinarian how prescribes this eye drop for canine cases of cataract among older dogs. Yet this non-prescription eye drop is ignored by eye doctors.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease affects nearly a third of populations in the western world. The avoidance of high carbohydrate diets, particularly reduced consumption of high-fructose corn syrup, represents the sole approach modern medicine has to offer beyond resolution of symptomology with drugs. Given this liver disease is dietary in origin, this corrective diet is the appropriate place to start therapy.
High fructose corn syrup can produce a scarred liver (fibrosis), and there is no drug therapy for that.
Yet there is an array of dietary supplements that have been demonstrated to remedy liver disease, the most widely studied and used being milk thistle with its active ingredient silymarin. Another natural remedy is quercetin which has been found to address fibrosis (liver scarring). IP6 rice bran extract is yet another dietary supplement that has been shown to be effective for fatty liver in the animal laboratory. Beyond a low-carbohydrate diet, dietary supplements may be the only effective remedies for this widespread problem.
When circulation of oxygen to the visual center (the macula) at the back of the eye is severely compromised, abnormal blood vessels will form in an attempt to provide collateral circulation to the millions of light-sensitive cells in the retina. These abnormal blood vessels invade and destroy the macula which facilitates central (reading) and color vision.
Fortunately injection of an anti-cancer drug (Avastin) that inhibits the formation of abnormal blood vessels was found to rescue older patients from the threat of permanent vision loss. This drug works about 85% of the time, though repeated injections every 4-6 weeks are required.
So what happens to the 15% of patients with this form of macular degeneration (called wet form because it involves leaky blood vessels at the back of the eye) for whom drug therapy is not effective? There is nothing that can be done for these patients.
A lion-hearted eye doctor, Stuart Richer OD, PhD, at the Veterans Health Center in North Chicago sought on a case-by-case basis to see if a nutriceutical would spare these patients of permanent sight loss. The nutriceutical, Longevinex®, was shown to activate genes that inhibit new blood vessel formulation 6-times better than other herbal molecules, so it was selected for use. Dr. Richer reports 16 of the first 17 patients treated experienced some reversal of their condition and measurable visual improvement. Eye doctors are slow to embrace this nutriceutical approach yet because it is not an FDA-approved drug, but it is currently the only hope these patients have.
Most Americans are under the mistaken impression that aspirin tablets and statin cholesterol-lowering drugs prevent sudden-death heart attacks.
The fact is, cholesterol lowering statin drugs only reduce the risk for non-mortal heart attacks in 1 in 200 healthy adults and 1 in 70 high-risk adults. This is despite the fact cardiologists and family doctors often sternly lecture their patients they will die of a heart attack if they don’t take these liver-toxic statin drugs.
Since every form of heart attack involves a collapse or blockage of a coronary artery that feeds nutrients and oxygen to heart muscle tissue, anti-clotting pills like aspirin are posed to prevent sudden mortal heart attacks. But the dose of aspirin required to prevent sudden mortal heart attacks is 325 mg (a standard-size aspirin tablet) and the 81 milligram baby aspirin tablets that are the one’s mostly employed to prevent heart attacks are ineffective. Use of the 325 mg aspirin tablets increases the risk for brain hemorrhage and bleeding gastric ulcers (standard size aspirin pills kill a few thousand Americans annually), which represents disease substitution, not disease prevention. The latest data shows a baby aspirin mildly prevents non-mortal heart attacks.
At the current moment there is no proven agent to prevent deadly heart attacks. Concerned adults, especially those in high-risk groups (diabetics, smokers, etc.), will need to search for the best available evidence from animal studies, since human studies are lacking.
The best available evidence points to resveratrol (rez-vair-ah-trol), a red wine molecule, to prevent sudden mortal heart attacks.
Intentionally-induced experimental heart attacks were turned into non-mortal events by research-grade resveratrol and more so by a commercially available resveratrol pill Longevinex®. Resveratrol not only thins the blood like aspirin but it facilitates the most desirable form of heart protection by protecting the heart from damage before a heart attack occurs. Resveratrol activates internal antioxidant defenses, thus limiting damage to the heart should a coronary artery become blocked.
Resveratrol only does this in a special measured dosage range. High dose resveratrol actually worsens the area of damage to the heart under experimental conditions.
It would take approximately 5-years and $50 million to conduct a human experiment to proven resveratrol prevents mortal heart attacks. The National Institutes of Health is remiss in launching a retrospective human study that compares resveratrol against existing therapy like aspirin.
Modern medicine’s scheme is to develop a separate drug for every disease with the result being an overmedicated society. Most drugs address symptoms rather than the cause of disease, and they may not significantly extend life. Death is not a disease but rather an event, an outcome. Is there a drug that delays death? Antibiotics are known for extending life expectancy in human populations but generally cannot be consumed continually.
So what drug reduces all-cause mortality? Those drugs that do, like statin cholesterol-lowering drugs, have been well studied. For example, statin cholesterol-lowering drugs were recently found to reduce mortality rates among individuals without heart disease or diabetes by about 17%. But interestingly, it has been shown that statin drugs mimic the effects of vitamin D. Mortality rates may be more appropriately addressed by provision of more economical vitamin pills than expensive liver-toxic statin drugs. Is there evidence for this claim?
Researchers in Germany concluded that vitamin D blood levels are strongly associated with mortality from all causes – heart and blood vessel disease, cancer and lung diseases.
An earnest U.S. investigator has grouped all the causes of death and upon careful analysis estimated a deficiency of vitamin D accounts for 2-3% of global mortality rate from a wide range of diseases (Alzheimer’s disease, meningitis, Parkinson’s disease, maternal infections and multiple sclerosis). This researcher estimates the normalization of circulating levels of vitamin D would reduce mortality rates by an astonishing 20%.
Unfortunately, reduction of all-cause mortality is not a primary objective in modern medicine. If it were, a lot of doctors heeding the research conducted by the above researcher would never allow a patient to leave their office without a prescription for a vitamin D pill, especially given the widespread shortage of this vitamin in human populations.
If you have cataracts or wet macular degeneration and existing treatment has been a failure or you simply are seeking less invasive alternatives, if you are in heart failure, have fatty liver, or Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS), then you may want to seek out dietary supplements rather than drugs. This report just a short list of maladies where drugs don’t cure and dietary supplements may be beneficial. – ©2013 Bill Sardi, Knowledge of Health, Inc.
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