The benefits of absence are real, but presence is more tangible: tea prevents heart disease (de Koning Gans et al 2010), grapefruit prevents stroke (Cassidy et al 2012), cocoa lowers blood pressure (Shrime et al 2011). Yet some of these health benefits come from the absence of ultra-processed food chemicals. You only eat so much in a day; tea, grapefruit, and chocolate crowd out artificial sweeteners, artificial colors, etc.
So said said Leonard Saltz, MD, chief of gastrointestinal oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.
A piece in MedPage Today (Fauber et al 2014) reveals how the scam works. A big pharma company like Pfizer pays for a study on a drug, like lung cancer drug crizotinib.
But The China Study is wrong. In 1993, according to the US Department of Agriculture, Americans consumed, on average: 11 pounds more of meat than in 1970; 76 fewer eggs; 6 gallons less milk; 22 gallons more of soft drinks; 48 pounds more of fruit; and 54 pounds more of grain products (Putnam et al 1994).
Americans are addicted to analysis. There’s a revolving door of analysts: college football, bond markets, indie movies, mobile tech, abortion politics, doggie jackets, etc.
What’s great: freedom of speech allows down-and-dirty analysis. You can write harsh things about the Yankees’ pitching, or the way Goldman Sachs two-times their clients, or how plain dumb the president is. You can earn your crust analyzing those subjects.
However, if you provide independent health analysis, you risk legal trouble, including jail time. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, if he were alive today, would be shut down by the FDA, at the hand of corporate executives. This seems unconstitutional and un-American for a variety of reasons.
Do you want $1 billion more than you don’t want pancreatic cancer? I don’t, which is why I feel health is more elusive and more valuable than $1 billion.
Cellular natural selection works like natural selection on the savanna, but smaller. Harsh habitats weed out weak animals and weak cells; this has implications for cancer and health.
Imagine a savanna with herds of slow-moving antelope, lots of fresh water, and benevolent temperatures. Lions would abound. Weak lions, fat lions, mentally-deficient lions, and three-legged lions would all thrive. A portion of the lion population would remain fit and strong, but most would begin to drift in aberrant directions.
Hippocrates thought convalescence was important to recovery and health. For convalescence to happen, sickness must come first. This places sickness as part of the natural order of life.
Today, Western medicine attempts to skip the natural order; take immunizations as an example. The chief idea is to use technology to prevent pain, save healthcare costs for society, get people back to work more quickly, and enrich the entrepreneurs that bring us the magic.
Vaccinations are a technological attempt at a preemptive, hurry-up offense to dictate to nature. They are essentially the opposite of the Hippocratic, or Benelles approach, which is to seek health in a slow, steady, long-term manner.
The top two causes of death in the United States are heart disease and cancer. But few people realize the third leading cause of death: medical treatment.
Iatrogenesis is harm caused by doctors. It’s not a word most Americans are familiar with, because they trust doctors to make prudent health decisions. But if prudence were happening, iatrogenesis would not be the third leading cause of death.
Truthfully, 225,000 annual deaths caused by doctors is low-balling (Starfield 2000). Much heart disease and cancer has been caused by medical treatment but the difficulty of proving that leads to undercounting. If we could magically trace people’s cancer and heart disease to the original damage, medical treatment would probably be the leading cause of death in our country. In fact, a group of doctors already believes this; that conventional medicine is causing over 780,000 deaths a year (Null et al 2004).
One thing that benelles and conventional medicine have in common is the idea that having the right genes turned on—or off—at the right times is what leads to health. But that base is about all the two have in common.
Case in point: a “nonprofit” group of 2,000 primary care providers called the Academy of Allergy and Asthma in Primary Care (AAAPC) is suing a collection of four specialized allergy groups.