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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What does an Anti-inflammatory Diet and Lifestyle do for you?

Tomorrow is my birthday.  I will then be 67.  Not that I am particularly excited about another birthday, but I think there are some things worth noting.  I never felt better in my life.  I am pain free.  My blood pressure is normal.  I take no prescription drugs.  I have lots of energy, more than people half my age.  I am alert and my memory is as good as it's every been.  Next weekend I will teach a workshop in Michigan for 7 or 8 full hours.  At home I spend much of my day gardening and I'm writing a new book about superfruits and what I'm learning about gardening with exotics.  Not bad for 67.

This morning in the tire store as I waited for tire rotation, I overheard two older women visiting and commiserating about the pains and problems of age.  They were my age or younger.  My heart goes out to them.  Life is not much fun when you hurt and feel crappy.  I know.  I used to be there.  It's not easy, but it's so so worth it to feel this good (and still losing weight) and enjoying life and activity so much!

Is it easy?  Well, a lot easier now than it was a year ago.  The food cravings are gone.  The cooking part is easier because I know what works.  I don't miss junk food or grains or things that make me hurt.  I'm woefully not in step with my culture and I prefer not to put myself in situations where I have to explain why I don't want bread with my steak or dessert.  I'm more self contained.  And a whole lot happier.

I'm reading a book, "The Biology of Belief" by Bruce Lipton.  It's good for a number of reasons.  But here's something he mentions in one of his chapters.  In 2000 the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that doctors are the third leading cause of death in the US.  I've reported that many times.  Those deaths are called iatrogenic, caused by the actions of treatment.  120,000 are deaths from adverse drug effects.

But here's the new information I had not known.  Just three years later, Null et all reported (based on 10 years of government statistics) that iatrogenic cause of death is the number one killer in the US with 300,000 deaths from prescription drugs.  I'm appalled!  I am more committed to staying off prescription drugs and staying healthy the way I know works--diet, exercise, judicious supplements, staying out of doctor's offices and hospitals.

If you want to know how to stay healthy, read my booklet, "Inflammation Run Amok" for the why and the how of it. and "How to Be a Smarter Health Care Consumer."  Among others also at that site.  Join me in healing and preventing the problems that most of your peers are dealing with!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Shame on AMA’s Archives of Internal Medicine

I'm borrowing today's post from the following website.

I saw the "news" blurb about how a new study says vitamins cause you to die sooner.  Here's the bummer problem with media and with junk science.  I was going to write something similar, but these folks have done it so well!  Don't believe everything you read about health.

Shame on AMA’s Archives of Internal Medicine

October 11, 2011

Did you hear the breaking news last night—that multivitamins may shorten your life? Here’s how junk science from the AMA set off the media frenzy.

Bloomberg phrased it this way: “Multivitamins and some dietary supplements, used regularly by an estimated 234 million US adults, may do more harm than good, according to a study that tied their use to higher death rates among older women.” The study’s authors outrageously concluded, “We see little justification for the general and widespread use of dietary supplements.”

The study, published in the American Medical Association’s (AMA’s) Archives of Internal Medicine, assessed the use of vitamin and mineral supplements in nearly 39,000 women whose average age was 62. The researchers asked the women to fill out three surveys, the first in 1986, the second in 1997, and the last in 2004, reporting what supplements they took and what foods they ate, and answering a few questions about their health.

That’s right, all the data was self-reported by the study subjects only three times over the course of the 19-year-long study. To say the data is “unreliable” would be a generous description. This kind of “data” has no place in a valid scientific study.

Then the researchers looked at how many of the women had died by 2008. They reported that the number of deaths were somewhat higher for women who took copper, a little bit lower for women who took calcium, but about average for most of the women.

In the study, all of the relative risks were so low as to be statistically insignificant, and none was backed up by any medical investigation or biological plausibility study. No analysis was done on what combinations of vitamins and minerals were actually consumed, and no analysis of the cause of death was done beyond grouping for “cancer,” “cardiovascular disease,” or “other”—there was certainly no causative analysis done. The interactions of potential compounding risk factors is always tremendously complex—and was ignored in this so-called study.

“Multivitamin” can mean many different things, and of course changed tremendously over the 19 years during which this “study” was conducted. Were they high quality?  Were the ingredients synthetic or natural?  How much of each nutrient was taken? Were they really taken at all? How good is anyone’s memory in describing what took place over many years? One would assume that that the women’s diets fluctuated greatly over the same period; when self-reporting only three times in 19 years, there is a great deal of information one would naturally leave out even if some of it was accurate. No analysis was done of the effect of supplements on the women’s overall health, nor of their effect on women of other ages.

In short, this study is less than useless: it is dangerous, because it is being used by the media and the mainstream medical establishment to blacken the eye of nutritional supplements using poor data, bad analysis, and specious conclusions—otherwise known as junk science.