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Just Say No to Rx Drugs

by Jeff Cordeiro

Say no to prescription and OTC drugs.I’m not talking about the illegal kind. I’m talking about prescription drugs and OTC (over the counter) drugs like aspirin.

For nearly 2000 years, when an ailing person went to see a “physician”, bloodletting was often the prescribed treatment. It seems obvious now that removing pints of blood from a patient in a weakened condition is probably not the best course of action. However, until the 19th century, if taking one pint of blood didn’t do the trick, the response was more than likely to take another.

Most agree that cocaine is bad. However, until 1903, Coca-Cola's two key ingredients were cocaine and caffeine. Until 1914, cocaine was sold over-the-counter in America. It was widely used in tonics, toothache cures, medicines, and chocolate cocaine tablets. Prospective buyers were advised (in the words of pharmaceutical firm Parke-Davis) that cocaine "could make the coward brave, the silent eloquent, and render the sufferer insensitive to pain".

Today’s OTC drugs aren’t much better. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) can cause liver damage. Acetylsalicylic Acid (Aspirin) can cause stomach ulcers, Reye’s Syndrome, and kidney impairment. Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) and Naproxen (Aleve) can both cause stomach bleeding and this is just the tip of the iceberg.

It's been said for years that prescription drugs only treat the symptom and not the cause. Drugs don’t actually cure anything and they always have side effects. More often than not, a drug’s possible side effects are worse than the ailment it is supposed to treat. Have you ever listened to the disclaimers on TV commercials for drugs?

Advair, an asthma treatment, can actually increase the risk of asthma related deaths. Plavix, which is supposed to reduce the risk of heart attack, doesn’t remove plaque in arteries or prevent the build-up of additional plaque. It merely thins the blood, which temporarily averts the real problem and adds new risks. Statins, like Crestor, are prescribed to those with high cholesterol, even though there is no statistical connection between high cholesterol and heart disease and a definite connection between statins and an increased risk for Type 2 diabetes. Abilify takes the cake. A person who is depressed and prescribed this medication, may experience increased thoughts of suicide, high blood-pressure, uncontrollable muscle movements, seizures, stroke, coma and death. Then there’s Botox. Really? Poison to get rid of wrinkles. Recent tests in lab animals show that this poison can travel to other areas of the body – like the brain. Who couldn’t see this coming? (Please, click here to read the Fox News article on Botox.)

Why are these drugs allowed to be used? What I am about to state may sound a bit like a conspiracy theory. It is not. It is simply the way big business works. The big pharmaceutical companies are no different than the banks on Wall Street, Enron, the Tobacco Industry or any of the other countless companies implicated in scandals lately. It comes down to the almighty dollar.

The reason natural remedies are so vilified by pharmaceutical companies is clear. They can't patent and, therefore, they can't profit from things that our bodies benefit from naturally (foods, herbs, spices, etc.). By design, anything produced by a drug company must be unnatural. 

The American Medical Association (AMA) was founded in 1847 and, according to Dr. Mercola, most people didn’t trust the new conglomeration. So, to gain the power, money and control they were after, they kept all homeopathic physicians out of their “club,” and proceeded to call all related remedies “quackery.” If you didn’t pay to join (by advertising in their medical journal, JAMA), anything you recommended would also be criticized. From that point on, the AMA turned into a medical monopoly, taking control of medical schools and essentially medical students. Since they controlled the schools, what was largely taught was how to use prescription drugs. 

Recently 200 Harvard Medical students confronted the school’s administration, and demanded an end to the pharmaceutical industry’s influence in the classroom. Harvard Medical School, earned an F from the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) for its policies regarding accepting money and gifts from drug companies. The more money and other incentives a school was receiving from the pharmaceutical industry, the worse grade. Of Harvard's 8,900 professors and lecturers, 1,600 admitted that they or a family member had ties to drug companies. The pharmaceutical industry contributed more than $11.5 million to Harvard in 2008 alone. For the full New York Times article, click here.

The dirty little secret is “there is no magic pill”. The closest thing we have to the fountain of youth is proper diet and exercise. The closer people get to proper nutrition, the healthier they are. Isolated and synthesized chemicals (prescription drugs) are about as far from natural as possible. Don’t buy into “drug cures”. The only thing that cures any disease is your body's immune system. So, get off the couch and do the work. If you eat properly and stay active, the drugs doctors push won’t be a consideration.

For instance, eight years ago, when I was told I had high cholesterol, I refused to take a statin drug for obvious reasons. After all, ignoring the possible side effects, only half the people with heart disease have high cholesterol and other research shows that low cholesterol may be associated with things like Alzheimer’s. I did agree to try their “recommended” diet but that only led to an increase in bad cholesterol. 

So, based on personal research, I went on a low-carb diet, lost 40 pounds, and decreased my ratio of bad to good cholesterol significantly. However, being my total cholesterol was still “high” (263), I continued to look for additional answers and I continued to look at nutrition. 

When I tried MonaVie, a concentrated fruit juice blend featuring the açai berry, which provides the antioxidant equivalent of over a dozen servings of fruit and vegetables a day (prior to that I found it difficult to get 3 or 4 servings a day), my total cholesterol dropped to my lowest number ever (232), and my ratio of bad to good cholesterol was virtually the best ever (3.65).

Because cholesterol is vital to the body in so many ways, I didn’t want to inhibit the production of cholesterol. I just wanted to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol. By utilizing nutrition, I was able to retain more “good” cholesterol and produce less “bad”.

If you still aren't convinced that natural remedies are better than prescription drugs, here's another statistic for you to consider. Last year 51,000,000 prescriptions were filled incorrectly (mislabeled, wrong drug, wrong dosage, etc.) and this was just the number of complaints filed by consumers. The actual number was probably much higher. The area with the greatest number of mistakes was Dallas/Ft. Worth and the second worst was Los Angeles. For the full CBS News story, click here.

We all live in the “information age”. Everyone has access to the internet. Do yourself a favor and do a little research. Don’t blindly buy into everything your doctor says. Remember, he was taught in medical school what he is telling you now. What was true yesterday isn’t always true.

The moral of this story is “take your health into your own hands”. You are an individual. There is no one size fits all answer. Listen to your body. Listen to your gut. Eat properly and stay active.

As always, I hope you found this article thought-provoking and helpful.

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Related Information:

Man vs. Nature: Resveratrol

Clinical Study of MonaVie's Effects on Cholesterol.pdf

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