Friday, June 11, 2010

Alternatives to Dangerous Drugs by Terry Lemerond

One of the greatest frustrations for anyone working in natural health is the prejudice that somehow prescription drugs are better, more powerful and safer than natural medicines simply because they are prescription drugs. The word “prescription” is like a halo that confers implied benefits such as “Ordered by a doctor” and “Clean” and “Powerful.” It is the slickest, most effective marketing campaign I have ever seen. Over the last 70 to 80 years, synthetic medication has pushed out natural remedies that have been used successfully for centuries. And the drug manufacturers have been going out of their way ever since to undermine the credibility and effectiveness of natural medicine. After all, you can’t make billions in profits from a simple herb. And what does it do to your bottom line if the simple herb turns out to be better than your heavily-invested drug? To what lengths would you go to protect those profits and investments? Obviously, some would go so far as to cause death and injury to innocent, unsuspecting patients, eager for a cure, but unaware of the toll the drug may take. Unaware they have other, safer options.

In this issue of Terry Talks Nutrition, we are going to look at some of these dangerous drugs, their adverse effects and which natural medicines are safer . . . and more effective, too.

Are Prescription Drugs ALWAYS Bad?

Am I against all prescription medications? No. There are a few that are great life-savers. But I am against blindly accepting all foreign chemical substances as “helpful” simply because they bear the “prescription” or “over-the-counter” drug moniker. In too many instances to count, these synthetic chemicals have done grievous damage when a natural intervention may well have yielded superior and far safer effects. A common drug like ibuprofen can cause the deaths of over 15,000 people a year—yes, I said 15,000 human beings a year—but if one person has an unusual or allergic reaction to an herb and dies, how long do you think that herb will remain on the market? The media goes into a feeding frenzy with “scary” sensationalized herbal stories, yet awful statistics about death and injury caused by prescription drugs are treated as an anomaly and the stories quickly fade.

Every day about 300 people die from an adverse reaction to a drug that was supposed to help them. More than 2 million people a year have to seek treatment at a hospital for an adverse reaction to a prescribed medication. An adverse reaction can be something relatively mild - itching or an upset stomach – or something as serious as breathing problems or an irregular heartbeat.

There are a myriad of effective, natural ways to address illness and injury without putting a person’s life at risk. Let’s look at some examples of natural products that have been proven equal or superior to pharmaceutical drugs.

The Best-Selling Drugs in America: Reducing Cholesterol
Brand names: Lipitor (atorvastatin), Crestor (rosuvastatin), Zocor (Simvastatin)
Adverse effects: headaches; muscle aches and debilitating muscle pain syndromes; weakness; dizziness; abdominal cramps; memory loss; “brain fog;” increased cancer risk; increased Parkinson’s disease risk; interferes with natural CoQ10 production, which leads to heart muscle weakness; interferes with hormone production; linked to depression and congestive heart failure, as well as hormonal disruption.

Remember that high cholesterol is not the problem. Low HDL cholesterol is a problem, along with inflammation in the blood vessels and oxidation of circulating cholesterol. So a better idea is to raise HDLs, reduce oxidation in the body and eliminate inflammation in the blood vessels. Did you know that for every 1% you raise HDLs, you get a corresponding 2-3% decrease in heart disease risk? And if your HDLs are high enough, you will not get heart disease, regardless of the total cholesterol number.

Raise HDLs and balance cholesterol using clinically-proven Indian Gooseberry (Emblica officianalis). Published scientific studies show it reduces plaque in the arteries, impacts cholesterol synthesis, protects cells from oxidation, and in a human trial, increased HDLs 14% while lowering LDLs 21% for a much healthier cholesterol balance.

At the same time, reduce oxidation and inflammation with a highly bioavailable curcumin extract. Inflammation on the interior of the blood vessel is the first step in plaque development, and curcumin will greatly inhibit this process. However, not just any curcumin will do. Curcumin is hard to absorb. In order to get therapeutic levels of curcumin in the blood stream, it should have clinically-proven enhanced absorption. I prefer curcumin extracts complexed with essential turmeric oils and naturally occurring plant phospholipids. I never recommend those blended with piperine for absorption, because piperine (extract of black pepper) is hard on the liver, and interacts with the majority of drugs on the market, including anti-seizure, blood pressure, heart rhythm, and cancer drugs.

Omega 3 fatty acids are crucial for cholesterol balance and heart disease prevention/treatment. They balance cholesterol by reducing LDL while increasing HDL cholesterol, and reduce triglycerides. Omega 3s also have a great impact on systemic inflammation. But omega 3 fatty acids from fish oil are very poorly absorbed, and are bound to triglycerides. The better way to increase omega 3 fatty acids is to use salmon extracts utilizing Vectorization. This process yields a natural whole food omega 3 complex that has 50 times the absorption of fish oil with no rancidity or GI upset.

And last, greatly increase fiber in your diet. Why? Because fiber soaks up and transports cholesterol your body is trying to eliminate. Less fiber means more cholesterol is reabsorbed during the elimination process, and more fiber means it is effectively carried out of your body. Try for a total of 25 or more grams a day of dietary fiber from food, and add supplements if you cannot reach or exceed this total with diet alone.

These steps will be much more effective at balancing cholesterol (shifting away from LDL and towards HDL) and preventing heart disease than any statin drug, and all without damaging or life-threatening adverse effects.

Reprinted from


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