By Shane Ellison, M.Sc.
Health Myths Exposed
February 24, 2006
Most medical doctors are hostile toward the use of nutritional supplements. They parrot that they are ineffective and possibly dangerous due to a lack of scientific evidence supporting them. Not true. Mountains of evidence exist. And it points to some fascinating and highly effective nutritional supplements. To obtain new drugs, pharmaceutical chemists, like myself, rigorously study nutritional supplements (i.e. natural products). Once a single active ingredient is identified a chemist makes a "copy-cat." The drug company then calls it their own. Simply put, if the study of nutritional supplements did not exist then drugs would not be possible.
Most every drug sold today has a natural-based predecessor. Drug companies and medical doctors obfuscate this historical fact. They like patients to think that drugs are intuitively invented out of thin air. This helps foster the very profitable belief that drugs are the only option for health. Understanding that nutritional supplements guide drug development will allow you more choices in health care - inexpensive and safe ones. Consider the following examples:
Pseudoephedrine is an ingredient found in over-the-counter cough syrup. It is a knock-off of the active ingredients found in "Mormon tea." In 2004, the Annals of Emergency Medicine noted that pseudoephedrine is so damaging to the heart that it can elicit a heart attack among users even healthy ones. In sharp contrast, naturally-occurring Mormon tea can be safely used as a cough suppressant. Today however, it is black listed while pseudoephedrine remains on the shelves of every corner grocery store in America.
Ritalin and many other stimulants are knock-offs of the active ingredients found in ma huang AKA ephedra. Ritalin is an amphetamine. As such, it can cause addiction and brain cell death. Despite false propaganda, Ma huang is a safe and effective stimulant that increases mental focus without damaging the body. Ma huang is black listed while Ritalin is dispensed to children.
Cholesterol-lowering drugs (Lipitor, Zocor, Pravachol, ect) known as statins are knock-offs of the natural ingredient found in red yeast rice. Akin to the drugs, red yeast rice can dangerously lower cholesterol and CoQ10 levels within your body. Like statins, it is not advisable to use red yeast rice to lower cholesterol. Both are poisons.
As a side note, if cholesterol-lowering drugs were the billion dollar panacea that drug companies claim them to be, we could all eat red yeast rice at a fraction of the cost. Unfortunately, they are not. AspirinT, the drug that your doctor tells you to take EVERYDAY, is a knock-off of the active ingredient found in white willow bark. The side effects of AspirinT are so severe that they can cause a higher death rate relative to the populations who do not take it.[i] Rarely brought to the attention of users, aspirin depletes the body of the essential nutrient folic acid. White willow bark is virtually unknown yet remains a safe and effective alternative to AspirinT for pain relief and any purported cardiovascular benefits.
The list goes on. Most would be shocked to know that even painkillers and anticancer drugs were derived from natural sources:
The tiny family of prescription pain killers used by doctors are knock offs of the natural ingredients found in opium. Naturally occurring opium is safer and less addictive than the fast-acting drug knock-offs morphine, codeine, and oxycodone.
Baicalein, an anti-cancer drug used among those who suffer from leukemia, is a knock-off of the active ingredient found in the roots of Chinese skullcap (Scuterllaria baicalensis). Chinese skullcap is a safe and effective natural cancer fighter that induces cell suicide (apoptosis) among leukemia-derived cancer cells.
There are life-saving distinctions between a drug and its natural-based predecessor. A prescription drug is a single isolate. A nutritional supplement contains a multitude of active substances. This distinction makes drugs more dangerous and less effective than nutritional supplements.
As a single isolate, a drug does not target the underlying cause of illness. It only masks symptoms. Further, a drug isolate has no "buffers" to offset negative side-effects. In sharp contrast, nutritional supplements utilize an array of ingredients to attack the illness at its core while striving to mitigate negative side-effects. If safe and effective, then why don't drug companies distribute nutritional supplements? The answer is very simple. They clash with the drug-company business model. Natural medicine cannot be patented and subsequently monopolized. Only dangerous, man-made prescription drugs carry patent rights. And this is what satisfies a drug company's voracious appetite for wealth.
Patent rights allow for checkbook science (the practice of funding, designing and interpreting the results of drug research), exclusivity and inflated prices. Add to that an army of good-looking, slick and foolish thinking sales reps and you have the world's most successful business model - corporate drug dealing. While profitable, this model is currently killing an estimated 200,000 people every year.
Face the facts: Those who adhere to Western Medicine are stuck with risky and expensive counterfeits of Mother Nature. Those who embrace Mother Nature by choosing nutrition are able to use natural cures without risking their lives.
About the Author:
Shane holds a Master's degree in organic chemistry and has first hand experience in drug design. Abandoning his career as a medicinal chemist, he is dedicated to stopping prescription drug hype. He is an internationally recognized authority on therapeutic nutrition and author of Health Myths Exposed and The Hidden Truth about Cholesterol- Lowering Drugs. His books and 6 months of FREE Life Saving Health Briefs can be found at www.healthmyths.net!