By Dr. Mercola
In 1776, Dr. Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, foretold a grim scenario that has now taken shape right before our eyes. He said:
"Unless we put medical freedom into the Constitution the time will come when medicine will organize itself into an undercover dictatorship. To restrict the art of healing to doctors and deny equal privileges to others will constitute the Bastille of medical science. All such laws are un-American and despotic."
Now, in 2012, we are very much facing this reality, as we live in an era where our medical freedom is increasingly under attack, and "healing" has been replaced with "treating" disease, most often with toxic chemicals and surgery. This drug-driven medical paradigm not only depends on the sacrifice and, some might say, torture, of animals in medical research, but also in many ways uses humans as sacrificial lambs.
Modern Medical Care is a Leading Cause of Death
There were nearly 4.6 million drug-related visits to emergency roomsi in the United States in 2009, with more than half due to adverse reactions to prescription medications – most of which were being taken exactly as prescribedii. The fact of the matter is, as echoed by a study released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA)iii, it is a mistake to assume there's no risk in prescribed medicines! As Sayer Ji writes on GreenMedInfo.comiv:
"The "medicines" themselves are often devoid of intrinsic value, being nothing more than rebranded and re-purposed chemicals, intended (though all too often failing) to be administered in sub-lethal concentrations. Indeed, many of these chemicals are too toxic to be legally released into the environment, and should never be administered intentionally to a human who is already sick. You need look no farther than a typical drug package insert to find proof that the side effects of most drugs far outnumber their purported beneficial effects.
These chemicals, in fact, are so highly leveraged against their true value (or lack thereof), that they can sell for as much as 500,000% percent from cost! Only medical/pharmaceutical and financial institutions (e.g. Federal Reserve) are legally empowered to generate the illusion that they are creating something of value out of nothing of value, on this scale."
Medical care is actually one of the leading causes of death in the U.S., with medical errors, adverse drug reactions, and hospital-acquired infectionsv killing an unacceptable number of Americans each and every day! Drug-related ER visits jumped by more than half between 2004 and 2008vi, stirring health officials to look for ways to stop what has become a near-epidemic that often ends in deathvii.
And when you consider that 2.7 million of those visitsviii involved prescriptions for largely preventable health issues, you can't help but wonder why we have strayed so far from true health care in lieu of health treatments.
You may be tempted to point your finger at your physician. After all, he or she is on the "front lines" doing most of the prescribing and advising. But whether or not doctors succeed in upholding the Hippocratic Oath -- the promise to Do No Harm -- is not always entirely in their own hands.
The conventional medical system is simply not designed to give them that freedom. It's VITAL that you understand that regardless of their personal opinions, many times they're simply not allowed to offer you any other alternatives than what the "standard protocol" demands. As written on GreenMedInfo.comix:
"Within our present dominant medical system, healing has not simply been forgotten but intentionally exorcized as it represents the antithesis of perpetual profitability which requires the incurability of the human body. Were the truth be told, and the body's self-regenerative capabilities acknowledged, the entire superstructure of drug-based medicine and hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue it generates annually, would crumble overnight."
Are You Intentionally Being Misled about Your Body's Innate Healing Abilities?
This issue runs much deeper than your physician's office. The entire medical system as it currently stands has been quite carefully orchestrated to make you believe that drugs, vaccinations, screening tests, and surgery are what is required to be well, while an assault has been launched against natural strategies and supplements that have proven vital to well-being for centuries.
For instance, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has launched a full-fledged war against the sale of raw milk, a substance that provides many natural beneficial and healing properties, even though between 1999 and 2010 there was an average of only 42 cases of illness per year attributed to raw milk, and that includes both "confirmed" and "presumed" cases. Meanwhile, they have allowed livestock producers to continue to add low doses of antibiotics to animal feed for growth promotion, even though this practice is undeniably linked to the spread of deadly antibiotic-resistant disease!
They have also issued new Draft Guidance on New Dietary Ingredients that threatens to remove some of your most commonly used supplements from the market, all while approving drugs, prescribed by doctors every day, that kill over 125,000 Americans a year.
They are but one government agency that is so thoroughly enmeshed in the drug-medical paradigm that they are utterly unable to protect you. The American Medical Association (AMA) has maintained a decades-long battle against "alternative" healing traditions, dating back to the 1920s and arguably even earlier. The courts eventually ruled in favor of the chiropractors in 1987, finding the AMA guilty of a conspiracy to take down the chiropractic profession, but their battle has continued on anyway.
According to Naturopathy Digest, the AMA and other medical groups justify their opposition to natural medicine, a primary principle of which is supporting your body's own innate healing potential, on the basis of three areas of concernx:
- Quality of patient care
- Patient safety
- Quality of education of medical practitioners
As the article so eloquently points out, none of these arguments hold up, and most are based on medical and pharmaceutical industry propaganda. If they were TRULY concerned about patient care and safety, they would not be targeting natural medicine, which has an incredibly low incidence of adverse consequences and proven successes, but instead going after their own allopathic medical practices that are leaving a trail of death and destruction.
Other medical associations whose claims that they exist for the betterment of public health are entirely questionable include the following:
- American Dental Association (ADA): Continues to support the use of mercury fillings and demonizes biological dentists who oppose the use of mercury in dentistry; continues to support fluoridation, in spite of the evidence it does more harm than good.
- American Cancer Society (ACS): This charity has close ties to the mammography industry, the cancer drug industry, and the pesticide industry; has rampant conflicts of interest; consistently promotes drugs and screening procedures while ignoring environmental causes of cancer.
- National Cancer Institute (NCI): Has spent billions of taxpayer dollars promoting treatments while ignoring strategies for preventing cancer; abundant ties to the cancer drug industry (for more information, read Samuel Epstein's new book, National Cancer Institute and American Cancer Society: Criminal Indifference to Cancer Prevention and Conflicts of Interest)xi
- American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP): Claiming to be protecting your children, the AAP is largely funded by vaccine manufacturers but refuses to disclose just how much money it gets from them; partners with Congress to protect pediatricians and drug companies from liability for vaccine injuries, while preventing you from getting truthful vaccine information.
However, even the government is not at the top of the totem pole when it comes to this attack on your ability to access natural therapies and obtain optimal health. GreenMedInfo.com continuesxii:
"Although the American Medical Association (AMA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) behave as if they are at the top of this pyramid of power relations, they serve far lower on the hierarchy. While the government of the United States and American corporate lobbying groups may appear to be behind the FDA's shameless pandering to the interests of the drug companies, transnational corporations and organizations -- and a hand full of elite governing them -- are in fact pulling the strings."
Natural Therapies are Increasingly Under Attack, or Intentionally Suppressed
Did you know a cream containing eggplant extract, known as BEC and BEC5, appears to eliminate most non-melanoma skin cancers in several weeks time? Or that studies conducted so far show significant potential for the use of cannabis in the prevention and treatment of a wide range of health conditions, including cancer?
Have you heard about Dr. Nick Gonzalez, who has had remarkable success treating patients with some of the most lethal forms of cancer that conventional medicine cannot effectively address using a three-pronged nutritional approach?
There's a good chance you answered "no" to these questions, and that's not a coincidence. Information like this is not easy to come by in the mainstream press or from most conventional health care authorities, which is one of the primary reasons why I started this site. Alternatives to drugs and surgery are out there, but unless there is a profit to be had, you aren't likely to hear about them. In fact, the system is set up to make sure that you don't.
One of the prime examples of this is vitamin D.
Over 800 studies already show that vitamin D could have cancer-prevention and/or treatment possibilities. But the problem is that it's a natural substance that can't be patented as a simple supplement, meaning there's no real revenue in it, compared to a prescription brand drug. That's why many drug studies involving vitamins of any kind hinge on how the FDA defines drugs and supplements.
A drug is defined as a product meant for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of a diseasexiii. A supplement is defined as a product that is meant to simply "supplement" or "enhance" a normal diet within the daily allowances recommended by the FDAxiv. Retailers who sell supplements are not allowed to tell you that vitamin D can possibly "prevent, mitigate or cure" cancer without having the FDA accuse them of selling a drug that hasn't been approved through the proper FDA process.
That process of getting a drug to market costs an average $359 millionxv and takes nearly 10 years – with a good portion of the money going directly to the FDA through user feesxvi. Over the years these fees have become a major funding source for the FDA. What drug companies get in return is faster FDA reviews and drug approvals.
As a result, a kind of you-scratch-my-back-I'll-scratch-yours scenario has ensued, with drug companies maintaining major leverage over the FDA when it comes to protecting their revenue sources, including making sure the $60 billion-a-year supplement business doesn't get in the way of drug salesxvii. The history of FDA laws and regulations on file at Harvard Law School, explains how years ago an FDA task force long ago established this policy...
"… to ensure that the presence of dietary supplements on the market does not act as a disincentive to drug development."
What Can You do to Support Real Health and Healing?
For starters, recognize that health does not come from a pill … and no disease is caused by a "drug or vaccine deficiency." As written on GreenMedInfo.comxviii:
" … is there any greater absurdity than a medical model that treats the symptoms of disease with sub-lethal dosages of toxic chemicals and in which there is no attempt to uncover, understand or remove the causes of those imbalances?
After all, what disease has ever been found to be caused by a lack of a drug?
Is acid reflux caused by a lack of proton-pump inhibitors?
Is heart disease caused by a lack of statin drugs?
Is osteoporosis caused by a lack of Fosamax?
Is cancer caused by a lack of chemotherapy?
Is depression caused by a lack of Paxil?
Absolutely not! Then why would anyone consider it sound practice to use potentially toxic chemicals as a first-line treatment for conditions that are not caused by a lack of a chemical? To the contrary many diseases are caused exactly by culminative exposures to chemicals that not unlike drugs are biologically alien to the body, i.e we are treating poisoning with poisons! Can we dignify this approach by calling it medicine? Or, is it more accurately described as a form of sorcery?"
Until real systemic change takes place, your best health strategy is quite simply to employ and maintain a naturally healthy lifestyle that will optimize your body's innate healing abilities and minimize your need for the drug companies' latest concoctions. We are, however, working hard to change the system and help protect your health freedoms from corrupt influences like the drug industry; you can learn more about our newest initiative toward this end, Health Liberty, now.
It is, of course, of paramount importance to take control of your health so you can stay well naturally, without the use of drugs or even frequent conventional medical care. If you adhere to a healthy lifestyle, you most likely will not need medications in the first place. This encompasses several principles, including:
- Proper Food Choices
For a comprehensive guide on which foods to eat and which to avoid, see my nutrition plan. Generally speaking, you should be looking to focus your diet on whole, unprocessed foods (vegetables, meats, raw dairy, nuts, and so forth) that come from healthy, sustainable, local sources, such as a small organic farm not far from your home.
For the best nutrition and health benefits, you will want to have raw food as a good portion of your diet. Personally, I aim to eat about 80-85 percent of my food raw, including raw eggs and humanely raised organic animal products that have not been raised on a CAFO (confined animal feeding operation).
Nearly as important as knowing which foods to eat more of is knowing which foods to avoid, and topping the list is fructose. Sugar, and fructose in particular, contributes to multiple disease processes in your body, not the least of which is insulin resistance, a major cause of accelerated aging.
- Comprehensive Exercise Program, including High-Intensity Exercise like Peak Fitness
Even if you're eating the healthiest diet in the world, you still need to exercise to reach the highest levels of health, and you need to be exercising effectively, which means including not only core-strengthening exercises, strength training, and stretching but also high-intensity activities into your rotation. High-intensity, interval-type training boosts human growth hormone (HGH) production, which is essential for optimal health, strength and vigor. I've discussed the importance of Peak Fitness for your health on numerous occasions, so for more information please review this previous article.
- Stress Reduction and Positive Thinking
You cannot be optimally healthy if you avoid addressing the emotional component of your health and longevity, as your emotional state plays a role in nearly every physical disease -- from heart disease and depression, to arthritis and cancer. Effective coping mechanisms are a major longevity-promoting factor in part because stress has a direct impact on inflammation, which in turn underlies many of the chronic diseases that kill people prematurely every day. Meditation, prayer, social support and exercise are all viable options that can help you maintain emotional and mental equilibrium.
- Proper Sun Exposure to Optimize Vitamin D
We have long known that it is best to get your vitamin D from sun exposure, and if at all possible, I strongly urge you to make sure you're getting out in the sun on a daily basis or if this is not an option use a safe tanning bed.
Just keep in mind that it's really best to get ALL your vitamin D from the sun. It appears that vitamin D plays a crucial role in sulfur metabolismxix and when you swallow it orally it may not have the same benefit as getting it from the sun.
- Take High Quality Animal-Based Omega-3 Fats
Animal-based omega-3 fat is a strong factor in helping people live longer, and many experts believe that it is likely the predominant reason why the Japanese are the longest lived people on the planet.
- Avoid as Many Chemicals, Toxins, and Pollutants as Possible
This includes tossing out your toxic household cleaners, soaps, personal hygiene products, air fresheners, bug sprays, lawn pesticides, and insecticides, just to name a few, and replacing them with non-toxic alternatives.
- i InfoFacts: Drug-Related Hospital Emergency Room Visits, National Institute on Drug Abuse, May 2011.
- ii Highlights of the 2009 Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) Findings on Drug-Related Emergency Department Visits, The DAWN Report, December 28, 2010.
- iii Emergency Department Visits Involving Adverse Reactions to Medications among Older Adults, The Dawn Report, February 24, 2011. (PDF)
- v New Study Shows Sepsis and Pneumonia Caused by Hospital-acquired Infections Kill 48,000 Patients, EurekAlert, February 22, 2010. (Press release)
- vi Rx Side Effects Causing More Hospitalizations, American Medical News, May 2, 2011: Kevin B. O'Reilly.
- vii Prescription Drugs More Overdoses in U.S. Than Heroin and Cocaine, Bloomberg, July 8, 2011: Oliver Renick.
- viii Rx Side Effects Causing More Hospitalizations, American Medical News, May 2, 2011: Kevin B. O'Reilly.
- x AMA Declares War on Naturopathic Medicine, Patient Safety and Freedom of Choice in Health Care, Naturopathy Digest, 2006: Alex Vasquez.
- xi National Cancer Institute and American Cancer Society: Criminal Indifference to Cancer Prevention and Conflicts of Interest, Amazon.com, May 17, 2011: Samuel S. Epstein, MD.
- xiii Cosmetics, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, July 8, 2002.
- xiv Drugs, U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
- xv What Does It Cost to Bring a New Drug to Market?, Answers Encyclopedia.
- xvi How Long Does Drug Development Take?, PharmTech.com, January 15, 2009.
- xvii Dietary Supplement Industry Contributes Billion to National Economy, Natural Products Foundation, April 5, 2010.
- xix Critical Role of Vitamin D in Sulfate Homeostasis: Regulation of the Sodium-Sulfate Cotransporter by 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3, American Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism, October 2004: 287(4); E744-E749, Merry J.G. Bolt, et al.