A good deal of advice that was once considered gospel truth among the medical community is now being questioned.
Many doctors, while advocating for exercising in general, have recommended swimming and walking over running because of the assumption that running would ultimately destroy your knees. New studies reveal, however, that not only is runner's knee avoidable, running can actually protect your knees.
Margarine was invented in a laboratory by a chemist in 1813. By the 1960s, when cholesterol became a bad word, doctors were recommending margarine over butter because it was naturally cholesterol free. A few years ago, however, it became apparent that margarine's trans-fat not only raises bad cholesterol but also lowers good cholesterol.
In recent decades eggs have been demonized as being loaded with fat and cholesterol to such an extent that doctors were recommending that adults limit consumption to a few per week or else eat those tasteless egg substitutes. But the cholesterol in eggs doesn't seem to have much effect on blood cholesterol levels. And eggs are high in many essential vitamins, minerals and fatty acids.
A daily, low dose of aspirin can help prevent heart attacks for people with coronary heart disease. But it’s a bad idea to be on aspirin when a vessel in your stomach or brain starts to bleed. The latter is called a hemorrhagic stroke. And there’s no evidence that daily aspirin can prevent heart disease in people who are already healthy. So by taking aspirin, you can seriously increase this risk of a hemorrhagic stroke or internal bleeding with absolutely no benefit to compensate for the risk.
You need only look back through history to reveal that many health truths, even those widely accepted and recommended by physicians, have turned out to be health disasters.
Often, these blunders are due to an “informational cascade,” which can easily lead to the wrong conclusion.
It works like this: Someone has a bit of wrong information, but they are confident about it so they spout it out. A second person who is unsure decides that the first person must be right, and chooses to go along with their theory. A third person who may have had a right answer, then changes his mind because he believes the two others must know more than him.
And on it goes as each person assumes the others can’t be wrong. Unfortunately, once a “fact” is accepted as a health truth, it’s very difficult to dispel. Some glaring examples of medical mistakes that were once accepted as health truths include:
Promotion of cocaine, heroin, and other narcotics
Thalidomide, a morning sickness drug called the “drug of choice to help pregnant women,” which caused severe birth defects
DES, synthetic estrogen promoted to prevent miscarriages, which caused reproductive problems in the women’s children
Estrogen Replacement Therapy (ERT) with unnatural hormones like Premarin and Provera
Much of the medical community would rather maintain the status quo than speak out against an accepted health truth, especially since those that do are often ostracized from the medical community.
In fact, back in 1846 a young Austrian-Hungarian doctor named Igaz Semmelweis noticed that medical students doing autopsies were somehow transferring childbed fever to the women in the maternity ward. So he began making his students disinfect their hands before delivering babies, and the number of childbed fever cases dropped.
Well, Semmelweis was labeled “insane” by his colleagues for having the audacity to suggest that they should wash their hands between deliveries, and they fired him. He tried to continue his research but was ostracized by the medical community. His own mental health eventually deteriorated, leading to his death in an insane asylum.
Before You Accept Health Advice as the Truth, Know the Source
Most of you know that the U.S. spends far more on health care in actual dollars and as a percentage of GDP than does any other country. Much of it is due to the constant research and development of new drugs, the deep pockets of big pharmaceutical companies, the cost of malpractice insurance, managed care, and expensive government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.
So you really need to follow the money trail on the health advice being given to you.
For instance, Merck, the maker of the painkiller Vioxx that killed 60,000 people, ignored research that reflected unfavorably on their drug, and they concealed heart attacks suffered by three patients during a clinical trial published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2000. They also deleted other relevant data before submitting their article for publication.
This was discovered during the preparations for Vioxx trial depositions when the printed copy of the study did not match the original version stored on a disk! Yet it wasn’t until four years later in 2004 that the toxic drug was finally pulled from the market!
If you had been an early subscriber to my newsletter you would have known as I issued the first public alert that Vioxx was dangerous and would cause an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. The warning came in 1999 -- one year before the drug was approved in the US and five years before it was eventually pulled from the market.
But we’re not just talking about drugs here. Food products, too, can often be linked back to their financial roots. Take margarine, which got its healthy reputation not from science but from the faulty lipid hypothesis along with the edible oil industry’s new cash cows, vegetable oils.
Are You Being Harmed by These Outdated Health “Truths”?
As I write, the FDA is STILL allowing the use of toxic mercury in dental fillings, without any warning to you whatsoever. This is another glaring example of a medical mainstay that, I am confident, will one day soon be seen as a tragedy.
Likewise, with the ever-increasing, widespread use of wireless communications, it is imperative to understand the risks inherent in the use of the technology, yet the government has been very slow to respond, no doubt in large part due to industry pressure.
Yet growing scientific research shows that radiation from cell phones and other wireless devices can, in fact, increase your risk of brain tumors, damage your DNA and may very likely be contributing to an epidemic of brain damage the likes of which the world has never seen.
Yet the cell phone industry is pulling out all the works to keep you from getting informed on this issue, which will very likely be the 21st century’s equivalent of smoking cigarettes.
Turning Over a New Leaf of Truth
As history has shown, doctors can be wrong. Well-accepted health “truths” can be wrong. And ideas that have seemed completely crazy have later on turned out to be true.
So how can you know who to believe?
But I am reminded here of a great quote by Buddha, and no matter what your spiritual beliefs are I believe it’s one we can all learn from:
"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."