Nutrition vs. Big Pharma
It's all in what we eat. Just as inadequate nutrition will cause our chromosomes to get shorter faster and younger, good nutrition can help us to boost our DNA to help us live longer and stronger and more active lives as we get older.
- "Why I Take Vitamin and Mineral Supplements"
There is no doubt, health is a very personal and controversial subject. Very personal because each person makes his or her own decision and choices about what to eat and what to avoid.
Controversial because those who take an interest in learning about health matters are battered from all sides with information, often conflicting with other information on the same subject.
The term "Big Pharma" is itself derogatory, used by those (especially by conspiracy theorists who believe pharmaceutical companies plan to keep everyone sick to maintain their profit margins) who advocate good nutrition over running to the doctor with each runny nose.
Many studies have shown that taking vitamin and mineral supplements does little or no good for health. Some even claim supplements can harm health. It should be noted that pharmaceutical companies (the international corporations that make drugs prescribed by doctors) have become skilled at hiding their sponsorship of supposedly independent scientific studies.
It has been said that producers of "real food" and food supplements of value can't afford to conduct the kinds of studies that big pharmaceutical companies can, which explains why they have so little support from scientific studies. Yet studies exist supposedly "proving" that supplements are useless and foods not enhanced by chemicals from big corporations such as Monsanto and Dow don't offer dependable product. If producers of 'real food' can't afford to conduct studies but Big Pharma and the chemical giants can, does that give you a clue about who is behind the negative studies?
The claim that advocates of good nutrition and big pharmaceutical companies are at war over health information you receive has merit. They are at war.
When a pharmaceutical company (or a study sponsored by one or more of them) claims that nutritional or vitamin supplements are not covered by law (technically they are not drugs, which are covered), thus their contents cannot be verified by their manufacturers, you have to think "conflict of interest." They have profit in mind at all times and the money to make the competition look weak or harmful through studies they sponsor covertly.
Nutritional supplements and vitamin supplements derive from nature, from plants that have grown and developed since long before humans inhabited the planet. Have you ever challenged a farmer to prove that each carrot he sells has the same nutritional value as each other carrot? Of course not.
Farmers are not the ones who claim the nutritional value of eating carrots. They leave that to health authorities who have studied the chemical components of carrots and how they affect the health of people. Nature is not consistent. The nutritional value of a carrot grown in one field may differ markedly from that of a carrot of similar size grown in an adjacent field.
No respectable health authority has ever advised people to eat only carrots. They advise people to eat a wide selection of fresh fruits and vegetables, including carrots and plants of other varieties, especially those with strong colours (they tend to have greater health benefits). Yet food and supplement "studies" take these out of context of the normal consumption and digestive systems and find results that make them look bad.
A person who paid attention only to the results of studies that in effect say it doesn't matter what you eat, it only matters whether or not you are sick, may believe that they can eat anything. If they do get sick, it's bad luck and drugs or (in extreme cases) a stay in a hospital will fix them up.
Now we can make the distinction between a healthy body and an unhealthy body. Note that you will likely not be able to tell by looking at someone whether their body is healthy or unhealthy. Nature has made us strong and fairly resistant to attacks by pathogens in our young (and therefore reproductive) years.
Once our reproductive years have passed, the effects of an unhealthy lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits begin to show. People don't get sick by accident or bad luck. Generally speaking, they get sick for a very good reason.
Unhealthy eating practices over several years result in an unhealthy body. An unhealthy body is vulnerable to attack by disease bacteria and viruses. The immune system of a healthy body will fight off these pathogens. The immune system of a healthy person will kill those bad guys.
But won't doctor-prescribed drugs do the same thing if you get sick? Yes, sort of. The number of drugs that will defeat viruses can be counted on your thumbs. The number of viruses that may attack your body is so large that it can't be counted. The common cold alone has about 200 viruses that cause you to "have a cold."
As to fighting bacteria, doctors have many drugs they can prescribe. If a doctor doesn't know exactly which bacterium has caused a disease you have, he will likely prescribe a broad spectrum antibiotic. That should get rid of the worst of the bacteria that are attacking you.
The trouble with that is that the antibiotic will also likely destroy most of your immune system. Your immune system, after all, depends almost entirely on its own collection of microbes in your gut, in your mouth and on every organ of your body. Antibiotics kill far more good bacteria--the ones that form the core of your immune system--then they kill harmful bacteria. The doctor takes credit only for killing the bad ones.
Pharmaceutical companies don't tell you that. They want you to believe that their drugs will kill the bad bacteria. After that, forget about other consequences. If you contract some other illness because you have no immune system to fight it off, the companies want you to believe that you simply have bad luck (take more drugs). But that's not true. You may simply have a knowledge deficit. And a naïve belief in the ability of your doctor and drugs to cure you of anything.
But drugs don't cure you. More often than not, they do you more harm than good.
Cancer, for example, is now considered by many outside the medical establishment to be a voluntary disease. That is, you have a choice to avoid cancer. If you eat properly. Same with heart disease and most of the other ailments people suffer from before they reach 90 years of age.
The purpose of this article is not to give you medical or nutritional advise. Its purpose is to get you to give direction to your thoughts about your ability to control your own health.
You make the choice to be healthy, especially past middle age (though ideally you should begin before that), or to be a medical patient and regular customer of Big Pharma. If you choose the latter, the companies will love you for it. They won't respect you, but they will love you because you will be one of the geese that lays golden eggs for them.
Bill Allin is the author of Turning it Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems, a book of solutions that are cheap but effective, as well as hundreds of articles that are available on the internet. Yes, health is a big social problem in the world, not just in the west, but everywhere.
Learn more at http://billallin.com