Before We Begin
Two amazing surveys were published in December -- surveys that absolutely seem to contradict each other and that demonstrate an astounding disconnect concerning the safety of pharmaceutical drugs.
- The first was a survey of FDA scientists conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services. According to the survey (which was released only as a result of the Freedom of Information Act) two-thirds of Food and Drug Administration scientists surveyed two years ago lacked confidence that the FDA adequately monitors the safety of prescription drugs. And 18% of the almost 400 respondents said they had been pressured to approve or recommend a drug despite reservations about its safety, effectiveness or quality.
- Now contrast that with the AP poll results released just one week later that concluded that 8 in 10 Americans are confident about the safety of prescription drugs sold in the United States.
Whee! Considering the horrible last quarter the pharmaceutical industry had in 2004, what with Vioxx, Celebrex, and most recently Aleve (indications are that Aleve can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke by some 50%), you would have thought the results would be totally opposite. Go figure. But then again, we saw evidence of that same disconnect in some of the letters we received at the Foundation in the last couple of weeks.
We had several people write in after our last issue concerning Celebrex and the increased risk of heart attacks and ask, "What's the big deal? If the risk without the drug is 1 in 10 million, and the risk with the drug is 3 in 10 million, the increase is 300%, but why worry about it?"
The problem is that we're not talking about 1 in 10 million. We're talking about the single leading cause of death in the industrialized world -- heart disease -- responsible for over 3/4 of a million deaths every year in the US alone. Increasing your chances of dying from a heart attack by 300% is actually a very, very big deal. For the public to lag behind FDA scientists in questioning the safety of prescription drugs is astounding.
Now please don't misunderstand me. There is indeed a role for drugs in health care -- but it is far more limited than what we've seen over the last quarter century. And certainly far, far more limited than we've seen since prescription drugs were allowed to advertise on TV.
And the really frightening thing is that even as drug after drug after drug is being pulled from the market, or being forced to change its warning label to address new safety concerns, and even as many scientists whose job it is to regulate these drugs are losing confidence in the very system they work under, the bureaucrats of the world (with the financial encouragement of the pharmaceutical industry), are pushing ahead with plans (Codex Alimentarius, the EU Supplement Law Prohibition Clause, etc.) to further limit access to far safer and more effective alternative health programs and increase our dependence on those very drugs that now appear with increasing frequency in the news. And the general public is enthusiastic about it.
As the Wicked Witch of the West said so eloquently, "What a world! What a world!"
The Nature of Aging
Probably no other area in alternative health is more subject to over-promising and under-delivering than anti-aging. We're talking about every magic bullet under the sun from face cremes to human growth hormone supplements. And what with the baby boomer generation now approaching the age where immortality no longer looks like a birthright, the market is exploding exponentially.
Ah, if only it were that simple! But alas, it isn't. Unfortunately, there is no magic bullet.
The simple fact is that aging is not the result of any one single factor, but is the cumulative result of a number of factors, including:
- Cell senescence, or the aging of cells
- Diminished telomerase activity
- Protein degradation
- Advanced Glycation End Products
- Excess sugar activity
- Progressive systemic inflammation
- Progressive dehydration
- Accumulated toxic build-up in organ tissue
- Reduced circulation
- Reduced cellular energy production
- Changes in hormone levels and hormone balance
- Impeded energy flows in the body
- Excessive body weight
- And, of course, good old wear and tear
The above list is hardly complete. We could add stress or the accumulation of free radicals in the body or the results of cumulative poor nutrition, etc. The key here is not to identify every single factor (an impossible task), but to understand that if you want to slow the aging process, you have to look at more than a magic bullet approach involving one or two supplements. The only way to maximize health and lifespan is to use a Baseline of Health® type whole-body systemic approach. In other words, you need to do everything all at once.
And that's actually good news. While there may not be a single magic bullet you can take, there are definitely a series of steps that you can implement that will help retard the aging process and keep you more youthful and more energized for longer than you ever thought possible.
Over the next several issues, we are going to discuss some of the key aging factors in detail and talk about what you can do to slow them down, or in some cases, even reverse them. In the meantime, for those of you joining us in the Liver Detox, it's probably worth mentioning that you're going to be addressing a number of aging factors over the next week.
- Rebuilding liver function
- Losing weight
- Flushing toxins
- Reducing caloric intake
- Improving circulation
- Improving blood quality
Incidentally, some 240 participants from 26 different countries are joining in. This really is starting to become quite the little event.
And for those of you not joining us in the detox, I really recommend that you do a 1-3 day juice fast sometime in the next week or two. Do something to break some of the bad eating habits that you may have acquired over the holiday season. It's almost as if you get on a roll with bad eating in November and December. And even though the holidays are now over, it's hard to stop. A short juice fast can be just the ticket to break that momentum and stop some of those bad eating habits long enough for you to reassert your self-control -- at least until the next holiday, vacation, period of stress....or whatever.
Learn more about How to Reverse the Aging Process
Or visit our Heart Health Program