There is a tremendous paradigm shift underway regarding medicine, preventive medicine, in particular. The focus of this is seen most clearly in the field of nutrition.
For me, the best example of this paradigm shift (now a full-blown clash) would be the controversy over Vitamin C.
First, a quick overview of American health. This helps us understand exactly why we cannot afford the lies regarding what is incorrectly called “alternative medicine”. The use of nutraceuticals, medical foods, vitamins and supplements in general is MEDICINE.
Basically, we need to understand our health crisis as a crisis of health per se, in that we are well on the road to lower life expectancy, and, secondly, that we are also on the verge of being unable to meet basic needs of our American population because of manipulation of the cost of drugs. And, I do mean manipulation.
So, the two-fold problem is that we are way overweight. This means more strokes, heart attacks, need for high blood pressure medicine, secondary-onset diabetes, cancer. The second problem is that institutions, such as the FDA, and powerful medical associations work to keep the price of drugs high. Very high. Even drugs that have been around for decades or even longer. The war against Vitamin C and other legitimate supplements is part of that.
At some point, this unsustainable “health care system” will collapse. This will mean that what you expect to get in terms of treatment and in terms of pharmaceuticals will not be available.
Why? Simple. Because if you don’t pay your bills the suppliers cannot supply you with more of whatever the product is. Printing up money merely forestalls the collapse.
America is now the most overweight country in the world. While having more highly respected universities, winning the lion’s share of Nobel Prizes, having accomplishments such as landing on the moon, sending robot explorers onto the surface of Mars, and satellites to gather information in great detail on the distant planets and their moons, we have hit a kind of wall. We seem to make no progress in regard to our real health.
Yes, yes. People live longer now than decades ago. With the advent of better high blood pressure medicine, drugs to control secondary–onset diabetes, and better chemotherapy for cancer, along with early detection, etc, our country has never had such a high percentage of elderly among us.
However, Alzheimer’s disease, the degeneration of the brain itself, is at an all-time high as a result of this very success at keeping people alive. We obviously want to live longer, healthier lives, but not just longer lives lived under the worst conditions possible, eg, the loss of one’s own identity. The expense is also prohibitive.
Predictions regarding future longevity are now in reverse because young people have never been so overweight. We have reversed downward trends before. The early ’70s. One year, I recall, longevity for men actually went down. Heart attacks were at an all-time high. Something, by the way, that hardly was seen in the early 20th century. The heart attack epidemic was essentially the product of smoking, lack of exercise and the need to eat better.
The seventies began a health movement that surpassed anything in human history. This is the spirit many of us would re-invoke, if we could, and I do believe it can be done.
This general health crisis has now been added to by the recent corona virus epidemic. Books to read: Guns, Germs, and Steel, and The Coming Plagues. All our wealth and interconnectedness has increased the chances of lethal viruses and pathogens from all over the world.
Now, the war against supplements for longevity in general or health and wellness in the present is not limited to disputes regarding the legitimacy of studies and the respective conclusions. We see practitioners of non-orthodox medicine censored, arrested, banned from social media, and, in effect, subject to a 21st century Inquisition, the likes of which none of us could have foreseen in the sixties and seventies.
Actually, though, there were those outstanding cases, even then. Dr Don Donsbach, successful vitamin entrepreneur, ended up broke in Mexico after the FDA seized his products, closed down his business, depriving him of the income he needed to pay for proper legal representation.
His “crime”? Making claims on the label that had not been substantiated by the multi-million/billion dollar FDA approval process. But, of course, you are “guilty” without due process while the FDA destroys you and your business.
The FDA has its “orthodoxy” and, if you go against it, even with real science, you will be persecuted for a “heresy”, such as believing, based on substantial evidence, that Vitamin C is very good at helping the body deal with a cold.
Now, you can make any kind of scientific claim you want, based on the First Amendment, in, let’s say, engineering. You have no First Amendment right as far as the FDA is concerned while making claims regarding supplements or even foods. We will cover all of this in detail.
A great example of FDA irrational overreach: FDA agents who arrested Chinese merchants for selling red rice, a rice with a red fungal coating that contains natural statins, after the Big Pharma companies manipulated the molecule to produce their statin drugs. The Chinese merchants’ crime? Selling a pharmaceutical, ie, a food Chinese people had eaten for more than a thousand years.
Problem? Chinese food merchants were, in effect, in competition with makers of statins.
Particularly concerning of late for me is the censorship and/or banning from social media for citing legitimate research on HCQ or Ivermectin. Similarly, for citing the side effects of vaccinations.
Hey! Did you know that one baby in a hundred thousand suffered in essence total destruction of his brain post- small pox vaccine? Now wonder why you have never heard it.
Getting back to Vitamin C. I have my own stories, my firsthand experience in this regard. Right there, in a med school I attended in the early ’70s. Yes, passed everything. I left after completing the second year, National Board test successfully passed as well.
First mini-story. Not that much of a much, but emblematic of the whole attitude.
There I am in the lecture room with a couple of hundred med students. Our lecturer is preparing us for the clinic. Specifically, he is talking about surgery. All of a sudden, something I had never heard before pops up and out of his mouth.
“500 mg of Vitamin C given before surgery will speed wound-healing”.
Yeah. He said that. I was surprised. So, immediately I did what I have been known for over the years: I asked the pointed question nobody else seemed to want to ask.
“Does anybody use Vitamin C before surgery to speed wound healing? I ask because I have never heard anyone ever talk about it.”
A real “WTF” moment, if there ever was one. I mean, wound healing is one of the most important aspects of recovery from surgery. Infection is exactly what you want to avoid. So, if you could speed up wound-healing with low-toxicity Vitamin C, why would you not do it?
Well, frankly, I know the answer to that.
The answer is that NOBODY ELSE IN THE SURGICAL COMMUNITY DID THAT. So, to do that would be a first-rate act of non-conformity. The entire medical community thrives on its own sense of validation. Its narcissism. If you asked the MD-surgeon why, he would tell you the difference was not “significant enough”.
This, however, this real bit of abandonment of reason, is just the first taste I got of the actual war vs Vitamin C. That lack of use of C for surgical wounds was just a small sample. The real hostility happened when Linus Pauling, Nobel Prize winner, wrote a book on Vitamin C and the common cold.
Without referring once to the numerous studies, research, etc, that Linus Pauling listed in his books on Vitamin C, what I heard was that 1) Pauling is not an MD and therefore should stay out of this. 2) Vitamin C is an acid and might cause diarrhea, etc.
Never did I hear about actual studies.
Members of my med school fraternity and I watched an interview with Pauling and a leading Philadelphia internist on the Mike Douglas Show. We collectively and individually had no opinion on Vit C. What we clearly saw, however, was abject and irrational hostility.
More to come as I ask why it took several hundred years for the British and other medical establishment to accept and adopt the practice of adding a food that prevented scurvy after first being introduced to a group of French explorers suffering from scurvy in Canada by a Native American.
In the meantime, on any long voyage, literally hundreds of men died. We take a look at that next as I review the first chapter on C in Pauling’s book.