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The Pharmaceutical Myth: Why you will never get well taking prescription drugs


Modern man is evolving and "Pharmaceutical Man" is here says a report in the New York Times. Americans are compliant and they go along with their doctors' recommendation to take more and more prescription drugs. But will anybody ever get well taking them? Bill Sardi investigates at

Why you will never get well taking prescription drugs
By Bill Sardi

First there was Neanderthal man. Then there was Java Man. In the evolution of homo sapiens, an article in the New York Times now says "Pharmaceutical Man" is here. Last year Americans consumers spent $163 billion on drugs. Retirees take an average of 2.4 prescription drugs every day.

For comparison, about $18 billion of dietary supplements are sold annually in the US. The preeminence of drugs over vitamins, mineral and herbal supplements is rooted in law. Forget that the biological action of virtually every prescription drug can be duplicated with dietary supplements. Keep that fact hidden from the public's view. No dietary supplement can claim it diagnoses, treats, prevents or cures any disease. Well, there are exceptions, like thiamin/vitamin B1 curing beri beri, niacin curing pellagra, vitamin B12 curing pernicious anemia, vitamin D curing rickets and vitamin C curing scurvy. More cures could be attributed to dietary supplements except for the cabal against them by research scientists and physicians.

But if drugs are designed to treat disease, and dietary supplements can't say they prevent disease, then we essentially have no preventive medicine. Except for technology to detect disease at an earlier stage and prescribe treatment earlier, modern medicine largely ignores preventive measures.

Despite a prediction that millions of Baby Boomers will develop age-related eye conditions that will cause the rate of blindness to skyrocket, there are no preventive regimens for cataracts, glaucoma or macular degeneration. Only treatment is offered after these conditions are diagnosed. Undeniable evidence exists that supplemental vitamin C, at least 300 milligrams per day, prevents cataracts. Few eye physicians recommend that their patients take supplemental vitamin C.

It took over two years for Dr. Stuart Richer of the Veterans Administration Medical Center in North Chicago to get a landmark paper published showing how supplemental lutein can for the first time reverse some of the visual defects caused by macular degeneration. In over a decade the National Eye Institute has yet to sponsor a clinical study using lutein, a yellow dietary antioxidant pigment found abundantly in spinach and kale which has yet to be declared an essential nutrient. Without Dr. Richer's perseverance, millions of senior Americans would still have no hope for their unremitting retinal disease. (See the book User's Guide to Eye Health Supplements, Basic Health Publications, by Bill Sardi with Jack Challem.)

Another example is magnesium. Mildred Seelig MD carefully documents in her book, The Magnesium Factor, how modern medicine has engineered studies to make it appear that magnesium supplements do not prevent heart attacks or lower blood pressure. The public is prescribed calcium-blocking drugs without being told magnesium is a natural calcium blocker. Verapamil (Calan), diltiazem (Cardizem) and nifedipine (Procardia) are commonly prescribed calcium-blockers that block the entry of calcium into cells. Sodium and calcium frequently can't be pumped out from inside sick cells, such as in conditions like heart disease and diabetes. But the reason why these cells cannot pump out these minerals is because they are lacking energy in the form of ATP (adenotriphosphate). Blocking entry of calcium into cells doesn't remedy the lack of cellular energy. We're going to talk a bit more about cellular energy below.

Another class of drugs, frequently used for high blood pressure, is beta blockers (atenolol, Tenormin, Timolol, others). But these drugs deplete the body of coenzyme Q10, an essential nutrient naturally produced in small quantities in the body that is required, along with magnesium, for the production of ATP for cellular energy. Anyone taking beta blockers should also be given a supplement of coenzyme Q10, at least 100 milligrams per day.
Another commonly prescribed class of drugs, the statins, is employed to lower cholesterol. Now recognize that statin drugs will only prevent one person in a hundred from experiencing a mortal heart attack. The other ninety-nine statin drug users will be wasting their money. Furthermore, statin drugs are toxic to the liver. They interfere with normal liver function and frequent tests must be performed to monitor for elevated liver enzymes. Yet if there was one dietary supplement that raised liver enzymes it would be recalled from the marketplace. Statin drugs also deplete the body of coenzyme Q10, that antioxidant nutrient that is required for cells to produce energy.
Adults who take statin drugs frequently experience aches and pains. They are mistakenly told they have fibromyalgia or arthritis. But when the muscles don't get a sufficient supply of coenzyme Q10, muscle tissue begins to break down. Aches and pains result. Some muscle tissue may get into the blood circulation, clog the kidneys and induce a mortal event. Any person taking statin cholesterol-lowering drugs should be placed on coenzyme Q10, at least 100 mgs per day. Few if any doctors warn their patients of the potential side effects of statin drugs and how they can be avoided with coenzyme Q10 supplements.

Yet another class of drugs that deplete the body of magnesium and coenzyme Q10, the thiazide diuretics (water pills) used to treat high blood pressure, are frequently prescribed along with any of the other statin or beta blocker drugs mentioned above.

Incidentally, cancer cells also are weak cells that cannot pump out calcium from their cytoplasm. Without cellular energy tumor cells must ferment sugars for energy and the malignant cells then excrete lactic acid which interferes with cancer drugs (a problem called drug resistance) and breaks down the connective tissue surrounding these abnormal cells so they can travel to other locations in the body. This is how tumors spread. All of the above drugs which deplete the body of coenzyme Q10 should predictably worsen cases of cancer.
Taking drugs like beta blockers, statin drugs or thiazide water pills, or all three as some people do, will for certain keep you ill. You will never get well. But don't confront your doctors about this. They will know little about drug-induced nutrient depletion because they too have been mistakenly taught that dietary supplements interfere with drugs.
Drugs occupy a prime position in consumers' minds. Time after time people call this writer on the telephone asking if they can safely take a certain dietary supplement with the medications they are taking. Is it OK to take vitamin E with a blood thinner? How about garlic or ginkgo biloba, don't those herbs over-thin the blood? Actually, antioxidants like vitamin E, and minerals like magnesium, and fish or flaxseed oil, and herbal supplements like ginkgo biloba and garlic pills can all be taken simultaneously and a person will never experience over-thinning of their blood. But physicians prescribe warfarin (Coumadin), which can result in internal bleeding, and monthly testing has to be conducted to monitor for prolonged blood clotting time. Doctors and pharmacists continue to warn the public about ginkgo biloba over-thinning the blood, but the few case reports used to substantiate this warning involve very high-dose ginkgo, like 300 milligrams or more per day. If adults were eating good diets and taking the right supplements they would not likely need blood thinners.

How dumbed down we all are. Vitamins, minerals, non-vitamin factors like lutein and lycopene, and amino acids are essential for life. It's the other way around. The drugs interfere with essential nutrients.

An over-medicated society ought to be on guard. The public needs to know which drugs induce nutritional deficiencies. A good book you might want to purchase, or have your library place in its reference section, is the Drug-Induced Nutrient Depletion Handbook. It can be purchased at or any bookstore.

Copyright 2004 Bill Sardi, Knowledge of Health, Inc. Not for commercial reproduction.

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