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The Big Secret

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

Story at-a-glance -

  • Over half of U.S. adults now have chronic health conditions like cancer, heart disease, diabetes and stroke
  • Prevention of chronic health conditions is not a priority of traditional medicine
  • Statins only address one risk factor of heart disease and pose serious health risks
  • The herbicide glyphosate has been linked to liver, bile duct and thyroid cancers
  • High fructose corn syrup is correlated with metabolic syndrome and nonalcoholic liver disease
  • Fluoride acts as an endocrine disrupter and lowers IQ in children

Six in 10 U.S. adults now have chronic health conditions like cancer, heart disease, diabetes and stroke, and 4 in 10 have two or more of these diseases, according to the CDC.1,2

While many of these diseases can be blamed on drinking, smoking or overeating — in other words, "lifestyle" choices, most people don't realize that much of their health care and subsequent wellness depends solely on corporations that value their profits over your well-being –– corporations like insurers, health benefit managers and food and drug makers.

It's a sad fact that prevention of chronic health conditions is not a priority of these organizations –– healthy people do not need medical care, so no money is made by getting or keeping the population healthy.

According to the documentary, "The Big Secret," unethical profiteering on the public's health can be traced back to John D. Rockefeller, (1839–1937) a wealthy U.S. industrialist credited with creating much of our current medical system. Specifically, Rockefeller's foundations along with the Carnegie foundation, revamped medical schools to emphasize the use of drugs made by companies they owned, instead of a less-drug intensive model that had been in use in schools.3

This "drugs first" approach to health care continues today at medical schools and in traditional medical practice, both of which are enmeshed with Big Pharma. The "patent medicines" Rockefeller pushed have simply been replaced by brand name drugs.

The sham of statins

A good example of our current medical system's misplaced preference of drugs over prevention can be seen with statins. Statins have been a blockbuster for Big Pharma since they were first introduced, with4 Lipitor being the best-selling drug in the history of the pharmaceutical industry.5 Today, more than 1 in 4 Americans over age 45 are on a statin.6

Since statins lower cholesterol, it's assumed they lower the risk of heart disease, yet cholesterol levels are only one risk factor in heart disease and, therefore, statins are much less effective than touted. In fact, studies show that less than half of those on statins actually ever reach the cholesterol goals intended.7

The real truth is cholesterol is found in every cell in your body, where it helps to produce cell membranes, hormones (including the sex hormones testosterone, progesterone and estrogen) and bile acids that help you digest fat. It's also important for the production of vitamin D.

Additionally, as experts point out in "The Big Secret," cholesterol serves positive functions in the brain, hormone systems and many other parts of the human body, Moreover, there are negative effects from lowering it too much.

As I have written in my newsletters many times, statins are also associated with many dangerous side effects, from muscle aches and damage to inhibiting the enzyme that produces CoQ10 and ketones, which are crucial nutrients to feed your mitochondria. Statins also inhibit the synthesis of vitamin K2 which protects your arteries from calcification and plaque.

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Doctors speak out against statins

Dr. Barbara H. Roberts, author of "The Truth About Statins," served as director of the Women's Cardiac Center at the Miriam Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island, and associate clinical professor of medicine at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University. She also spent two years at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where she was involved in statin clinical trials. This is what she had to say in 2012 about the use of statins in clinical practice:8

"Every week in my practice I see patients with serious side effects to statins, and many did not need to be treated with statins in the first place. These side effects range from debilitating muscle and joint pain to transient global amnesia, neuropathy, cognitive dysfunction, fatigue and muscle weakness.

Most of these symptoms subside or improve when they are taken off statins. There is even growing evidence of a statin link to Lou Gehrig's disease.

There is no question that many doctors have swallowed the Kool-Aid. Big Pharma has consistently exaggerated the benefits of statins and some physicians used scare tactics so that patients are afraid that if they go off the statins, they will have a heart attack immediately.

Yet high cholesterol, which the statins address, is a relatively weak risk factor for developing atherosclerosis. For example, diabetes and smoking are far more potent when it comes to increasing risk."

Rather than statins, simply donating blood reduces the risk of stroke by 70%, says Dr. Jonathan Wright in "The Big Secret." For more information on how this could be true, I encourage you to watch the video accompanying this article — you'll be shocked at how something as simple as a blood donation can work as well as or better than a drug.

Food that doesn't nourish

In 1971, President Richard Nixon's secretary of agriculture, Earl Butz, debuted a dangerous method of farming that continues today, in the form of the use of heavy synthetic fertilizers. With the advent of chemicals to "feed" it, farmland was no longer given a rest but tilled incessantly, resulting in serious mineral depletion.9

As a result studies show that fruits and vegetables today have less nourishing nutrients, thanks to this emphasis on size and quick growth of produce that Butz instituted. Of course, GMOs were to follow. Not surprisingly, Butz served as a board member on agribusiness companies that made the chemicals he promoted.

The drop in nutritional values in crops stems from widely used pesticides and herbicides which kill the bacteria that would otherwise predigest minerals and make them available to crops, says Peter Glidden, a naturopathic doctor featured in "The Big Secret" documentary.

What's worse, glyphosate, the ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, is highly correlated with liver, bile duct and thyroid cancers and stroke. And now, thanks to subpoenaed evidence produced in lawsuits against Roundup's manufacturer Monsanto, it's been proven that Monsanto (now Bayer) buried negative studies and attacked whistleblowers who tried to expose the danger of its popular herbicide.

The farmers are suffering too: Thanks to contracts forced on them by Monsanto and other agribusiness giants like DuPont and Syngenta, farmers can no longer save their seeds for planting or buy unpatented seeds, says farmer Paul Porter.

And, the environment suffers: Despite farmers' best efforts to avoid the harm of glyphosate and the many GMO seeds developed to survive the herbicide, glyphosate "drift" affects farmers who earnestly want to opt out of chemically produced food. Traces of glyphosate are now found everywhere, says the documentary –– in the soil, air, rain and even in most people's urine.

A dangerous sweetener made from corn

Another point "The Big Secret" makes is that the ubiquity of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), used to sweeten soft drinks and many other processed foods, is also a result of an agriculture secretary's decision-making. John Block, who served from 1981 to 1986 under President Ronald Reagan, abruptly ceased sugar imports when he took office, and boosted the use of HFSC, made from government subsidized corn.

One problem with HFCS, though, is that it's highly correlated with metabolic syndrome –– the type of obesity in which fat is concentrated at the waist, resulting in more health risks than mere obesity –– and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

As an example, the documentary highlights a study of residents of a county in Texas where only soft drinks with real sugar were available. With no access to HFCS, these people had significantly less fatty liver disease, obesity and diabetes — highlighting the probable, deleterious effects of HFCS.

Next up on this revealing documentary's list is the U.S. government's campaign against fat, which began in 1980 and resulted in the low-fat craze — a move that got the science practically backward, says Dr. Robert Lustig. In this debacle, fat was blamed for the cardiovascular disease while fructose, the real culprit, was exonerated. "You would never think about giving your kid a beer, but you don't think twice about giving them a Coke. They do the same thing," he asserts.

The soft drink lobby has huge power

I know it's hard to believe that governments would not protect their constituents from harmful food. But, time and again industry wins over any concern government may express for your health. For example, soft drink makers wield a huge amount of economic power. This is how Mother Jones described the conundrum in 2016:10

"Soda companies give big bucks to groups that promote public health — while at the same time lobbying against laws that are trying to do the same.

That's the takeaway from a study [that showed] Coca-Cola and PepsiCo donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to groups like the American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association and Save the Children from 2011-2015. The two companies, represented by American Beverage Association, also spent millions lobbying to defeat legislation aimed at reducing soda consumption across the country.

Coke gave the National Institutes of health nearly $2 million in recent years while also spending $6 million each year from 2011 to 2015 to fight efforts on implementing soda tax in cities like Philadelphia."

The bottom line is, government is literally taking handouts from the very industries that are making you sick! When you consider that the chief agency in charge of your health — the CDC — has been caught in a cozy relationship with Coke, to the point of allowing the beverage giant to influencing research, it makes you wonder just who to trust when it comes to health and wellness.

Real food provides natural weight control

Here's an interesting thought that "The Big Secret" poses: What happens when food still contains all the minerals and nutrients it was meant to have — foods that haven't been depleted by chemical farming and genetic engineering? The answer is people stop eating when they have had enough and do not overeat, Glidden says.

You see, overeating and obesity are a direct result of consumers failing to receive the nourishment they crave. In other words, the body seeks nourishment that is not there and you just continue eating.

This "missing nutrient" effect may be seen, for example, with artificial sweeteners. Research in Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism suggests that artificially sweetened beverages may paradoxically cause people to gain, not lose, weight.11

"The negative impact of consuming sugar-sweetened beverages on weight and other health outcomes has been increasingly recognized; therefore, many people have turned to high-intensity sweeteners like aspartame, sucralose, and saccharin as a way to reduce the risk of these consequences.

However, accumulating evidence suggests that frequent consumers of these sugar substitutes may also be at increased risk of excessive weight gain, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease."

Artificial sweeteners also might be addictive unto themselves, according to a 2011 study conducted at the University of Bordeaux in France.12 Researchers found that rats, when they were given a choice between an artificial sweetener and cocaine, always picked the artificial sweetener. In fact, even cocaine-addicted rats chose the artificial sweetener.

Municipal fluoridation imperils public health

For many years I have warned against the dangers of fluoride in drinking water and its widespread use in municipal water systems, so you're probably aware of how industry has overtaken the very water you drink. Fluoride is an endocrine-disrupting chemical13 and linked to the rising prevalence of thyroid disease which, in turn, is linked to obesity, heart disease, depression and other health problems.

Research in Environmental Health also suggests a link between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and adolescents in the United States, which has become epidemic, and exposure to fluoridated water.14

"State prevalence of artificial water fluoridation in 1992 significantly positively predicted state prevalence of ADHD in 2003, 2007 and 2011, even after controlling for socioeconomic status.

A multivariate regression analysis showed that after socioeconomic status was controlled each 1% increase in artificial fluoridation prevalence in 1992 was associated with approximately 67,000 to 131,000 additional ADHD diagnoses from 2003 to 2011.

Overall state water fluoridation prevalence (not distinguishing between fluoridation types) was also significantly positively correlated with state prevalence of ADHD for all but one year examined."

Municipal fluoridation, says "The Big Secret," saves local governments money by disposing of the neurotoxin while sparing the aluminum industry connected with its production, financial responsibility or harm.

There is also evidence that fluoride is an endocrine disruptor that can affect your bones, brain, thyroid, pineal gland and even your blood sugar levels.15 Importantly, it's a known neurotoxin shown to lower IQ in children.16,17 It's just another example of corporations and governments placing their profits over the public's well-being –– many of which are well described in "The Big Secret."

The message is clear: Many medicine practices, as well as popular foods and drugs are designed to make money, not protect public health.

About the Directors

I believe in bringing quality to my readers, which is why I wanted to share some information about the filmmakers, Dr. Susan Downs and Alex Voss, from "The Big Secret." Here is a little more about them and what went in to making this film. Thank you, Susan and Alex, for sharing with us.

Susan Downs, MD

Susan is boarded in integrative medicine and in psychiatry in the U.S. and is on the consultant registry in the U.K. To further her goals of getting health information to the public, she hosts the radio show, "Occupy Health," on Voiceamerica.com and is president of the cutting-edge Silicon Valley Health Institute.

Previously, she worked in 10 countries: for the NHS in the U.K.; as an assistant professor at INSEAD European School for Business Administration; and as a foreign service officer managing alternative energy projects in Asia. She has masters' degrees in engineering from MIT and Stanford and a Master in Public Health from Loma Linda Medical Center. Her interests include medicine, economics, spirituality and making the world a better place.

Alex Voss

Alex is a national and regional Emmy award-winning SBE-certified broadcast engineer, documentary film producer and video producer with more than 45 years' experience in television and radio production. Some of his work includes PBS news and documentary programs, with topics on people and drugs and "The Big Secret" documentary. He is also a member of The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

What was Voss' and Downs' inspiration for making this film?

"The Big Secret" is the latest work by five-time Emmy Award-winning producer Alex Voss and multi-award-winning filmmaker and integrative physician, Susan Downs. What started as a personal journey to regain his health, Alex came face to face with the sad reality concerning the influence that big money has on our health and well-being.

In looking at the history of medicine in the U.S., Voss and Downs were disappointed in the influence that wealth and power have on doctors' decisions concerning medical care. This shocking documentary is the result of research and personal interviews with leading experts in the fields of medicine and nutrition.

"Our goal is to empower people with knowledge and start a conversation that will ultimately lead to life-saving changes to our personal health, and reform in our healthcare system," they explained.

However, "The Big Secret," Voss and Downs have been threatened online and targeted by U.S. thought police censors. "The Big Secret" was removed from Amazon Prime and health videos were removed from Voss' YouTube channel and cited as spam. Their IMDB page and accounts were hacked. Downs and Voss remain committed to get health information to the public and question why "book burning" is condoned by our government.

What was their favorite part of making the film?

Our goals are to get health information out to the public as the allopathic model of a symptom management is not serving us well. We strongly believe that health information should not be censored.

Where do the proceeds of the film go?

As we have funded the film ourselves, any proceeds will be put into our next film, "Toxified," which will cover the health effects of the toxic soup we all are exposed to, such as EMF and toxins in food.

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