December 16, 2003
WHY DO AMERICANS HAVE SUCH POOR HEALTH?
By Dr. James Howenstine, MD.
In order to understand the current status of medical care in the U.S., Canada and Europe it is vital to understand that health care in these 3 regions is nearly completely under the control of the pharmaceutical industry. All major pharmaceutical firms have interlocking boards of directors so there is no real competition among these companies. In the United States the primary function of the Federal Drug Administration is to ensure the profitability of pharmaceutical firms, chemical firms and large agricultural conglomerates.
A competent scientist, Dr. Harvey W. Wiley, was the architect of the first Pure Food and Drug Law in the United States. His intention in 1906 was to protect the purity of food from additives and refined white flour. The pressures from the food and pharmaceutical industries caused him to resign in disgust from the FDA in 1912. (We still have nutritionally worthless white bread 90 years later). It is foolish to think that the FDA is concerned about the health care of the citizen when their primary allegiance is to the pharmaceutical industry and allied monopolistic businesses.
All appointments to the FDA are carefully screened to be certain that the appointee will be controlled by the drug companies. An FDA memo admitted that they would never permit an independent researcher to come up with a cure for cancer that it would have to come through a drug company. Many cancer cures have come and gone since 1906. None has received any publicity in the national media. Curing cancer is far removed from the plans of the drug companies as the sale of chemotherapy drugs is so lucrative.
An example of the stranglehold that the FDA has over medicine is provided by our attempt to sell red yeast. Red yeast is used to prepare Peking duck. This yeast contains many statins that lower cholesterol. The pharmaceutical companies have taken advantage of this by isolating single statins from the yeast that they are able to patent (Mevacor, Lipitor, Xocor etc.). Red yeast is safer and much cheaper than the statin drugs. When I called to order red yeast from Nature's Distributors in Fountain Hills, Arizona the sales person advised me that they could not sell red yeast to us because the FDA had called them and told them to stop selling red yeast. The FDA gave them no reason for this action but it is obvious that red yeast was hurting the statin sales of large drug companies.
A group of concerned physicians has filed a petition with the FDA to require pharmaceutical companies to place a package insert advising the buyer that statin drugs cause depletion of the critical nutrient CoQ 10 from the body. CoQ 10 deficiency appears to cause a rare patient on statins to experience muscle breakdown, lactic acidosis, kidney failure and death. The lack of CoQ 10 in heart muscle also probably is responsible for the rising incidence of heart failure in the U.S. The package insert would recommend that persons taking statins should take 100 to 200 mg. of CoQ 10 daily to prevent these problems. Obviously the drug companies oppose this package insert because it implies that statin drugs are not entirely safe which is, of course, the truth.
A major battle over the direction that medicine would travel was fought in the early 1900s in the United States between the pharmaceutical industry and homeopathy. This fight ended in complete victory for the pharmaceutical industry aided by the financial clout of Rockefeller interests. Since that time drug companies have influenced the curriculums taught in medical schools, controlled the content of most medical meetings, and have major input into what topics are not permitted in medical journals (articles about successful use of natural therapies that could replace drugs usually will not get published). Programs that will develop large profits for drug and agricultural firms are approved without serious study and the public suffers (GMO foods, irradiation of foods, vaccines released without safety testing, placing fluoride in water supplies, using growth hormone to increase cow milk production, injecting cattle with hormones, continuing use of mercury amalgams, recycling nuclear wastes, metals and toxic substances as "fertilizer" etc.)
What Is the Status Of U.S. Medicine?
American physicians are convinced that our medical services are the finest in the world. I know I was. We do not read the world literature so it comes as a surprise to learn that German physicians have been administering natural products for more than 100 years.
The truth is shocking! The United States is 17th of 32 developed nations with a life expectancy of 75 years. Japan is the highest with a life expectancy of 79.1 years. One of the major factors contributing to slightly improved longevity figures in the U.S. is the improving survival of the 40% of U.S. citizens who are using supplements to keep themselves healthy and out of hospitals. If these 40 % of U.S. citizens who are using natural products to keep themselves well were factored out of the statistics the U.S. might rank near the bottom among all developed nations.
The Unites States spends twice as much money per capita on health care as the average of the developed nations. We have advanced technology to diagnose and perform very expensive coronary bypass surgery. Many years ago the eminent Harvard cardiologist, Dr. Eugene Braunwald, expressed grave concern that coronary bypass surgery was becoming an established procedure without any solid evidence that it was effective. This very costly and somewhat dangerous procedure (coronary bypass surgery) is no more effective than good medical care which attacks the causes of arteriosclerosis.
The "war" on cancer has been lost as chemotherapy and radiation are no more successful now than they were 25 years ago. Fortunately a few people have heard about natural approaches to malignancies and are recovering without the terrible side effects of conventional cancer therapy. When the general public learns that most oncologists would refuse to undergo chemotherapy in the event they developed cancer more persons will look for far safer natural treatments of malignancy which provide better results.
Immense amounts of money are expended on pharmaceutical drugs that are heavily publicized but have no ability to cure a disease. A good example of this is the use of expensive toxic anti-retroviral drugs for HIV when the simple repletion of selenium, niacin, tryptophane and glutamine appears to be very successful in stopping this nutrient consuming illness from progressing. Conventional medicine has no good therapy for the common lung disease emphysema. The effective alternative therapies for emphysema of intravenous glutathione, intravenous hydrogen peroxide,and cetyl myristolate remain unknown to most practitioners.
Pharmaceutical firms are spending large sums of money to develop new drugs that will correct the blood sugar in type 2 diabetes when an electronic engineer, Thomas Smith, has pointed the way to eliminating this problem by dietary measures.
Multiple sclerosis is being stabilized or improved by hyperbaric oxygen in most English patients whereas the United States does not authorize this therapy.
The true status of U.S. medicine is dismal. Does this reflect arrogance and chauvinism? My suspicion is that it is all about money. We are spending large amounts of money and getting poor health. Patients that get treated with drugs and do not get cured are enormously profitable for pharmaceutical firms, physicians, hospitals, pharmacists and medical laboratories.
Why Is The Medical Profession Resisting Natural Therapies?
In 1902 Sir William Osler stated "The greater the ignorance the greater the dogmatism". At this time approximately 40% of U.S. citizens have taken the responsibility for their health care into their own hands and are taking vitamins and supplements that they feel will preserve their health and help them avoid illness. The significant fall in death rates from heart disease (585 to 268 per 100,000) and strokes (181 to 62) almost certainly reflects the benefits of these supplements. There are no pharmaceutical drugs that reverse the causes for this disease (arteriosclerosis) [free radical damage, atrocious diets, and exposure to a multitude of very toxic substances mercury, xenoestrogens, fluoride, chlorine, pesticides, herbicides, aluminum, etc.]
There are many good reasons why physicians have not started to use natural therapies:
Physicians receive no education in medical school about the merits of natural treatments. Medical meetings and medical journals are heavily subsidized by the pharmaceutical industry so no information about the virtues of natural treatments will be brought forth in these arenas.
Review articles about diseases will either omit information about natural therapies or the material about natural treatments will be presented in such a biased or negative way that no physician would want to use it.
Most physicians believe that the only valid therapies are pharmaceutical and everything else is a scam. I was in this camp for more than 30 years.
Powerful governmental agencies exist to protect the earnings of the pharmaceutical industry and are not very interested in the health status of the general populace. Money wins out so dangerous therapies are released on the public without any attempt to prove safety (genetically modified foods, irradiation of food, fluoridation of water, vaccines etc.).
Supposed tax free foundations concerned about public health set up research studies to disprove the value of natural therapies which is easy to do by using impotent products, stopping the study before sufficient time has elapsed, and using statistics to skew the results. Unfortunately some research scientists are just like accountants and lawyers and their services can be bought. When these unfavorable results come forth they are widely disseminated on television and other media by skilled public relations experts to convince the public there is no value in the substances they are using. The key to unraveling the truth about these sordid pieces of research lies in discovering whose funds set up the foundation (aluminum, tobacco, agribusiness etc.). Physicians who decide to try natural substances are forced to learn new skills which is not easy. Inertia can be a strong influence. When things are going well for physicians why would they want to rock the boat. Human nature tends to oppose change so medical advances often take 50 or more years until they are implemented. Several alternative medical practitioners have been badly harassed by governmental authorities (Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski, Dr. Max Gerson, Dr. Carl Reich, Dr. Royal Rife etc.) forcing them to leave the country or defend themselves in expensive lawsuits to avoid losing their licenses. A leader in natural health, Dr. Jonathan Wright, had his office ransacked by Gestapo-like federal agents who seized all his patient records. There is a legal concept that is widely appreciated by physicians as a way to avoid lawsuits. This concept is you are at risk if you are using treatments that your colleagues are not using. Naturally this impedes change!
In the light of all the negative influences mentioned above it is not surprising that so few M.D.s and other practitioners have embraced natural therapies. However, truth always dispels darkness and lies.
When the general public learns that most oncologists would refuse to take chemotherapy if they developed cancer fewer persons will consent to this dangerous therapy. My guess is that fewer than one infectious disease specialist in a hundred has ever heard of Sulfoxime and Dioxychlor. These two remarkable antimicrobial substances are very effective in eliminating systemic fungal infections, mycoplasma, yeast and anaerobic infections without side effects and at minimal cost. Their developer, Dr. Robert W. Bradford, will probably never be invited to speak at an infectious disease seminar as dissemination of news about Sulfoxime and Dioxychlor would have an adverse effect on antibiotic sales.
There may not be a single chest physician in the United States who knows that umckaloabo is a highly effective safe herbal therapy for advanced tuberculosis. Veternarians in the United States have learned that treating animals prior to conception with vitamins, minerals and nutrients nearly completely eliminates congenital anomalies. This biologic concept would almost certainly work in humans but may never be introduced because it would eliminate too many profitable diseases. The future for natural products appears to lie with the continuing education of the general public about the virtue of natural approaches to health problems. Word of mouth about successful results can be a powerful factor promoting change. As this proceeds the revenue of drug companies will fall. Many pharmaceutical firms are already positioning themselves for these changes by buying natural health product companies. Unfortunately this certain progress in medicine will, of necessity, come without benefit of the medical profession and medical schools who will probably be unable to shed their strong bondage to the pharmceutical industry. The pharmaceutical approach to medicine, with the exception of antibiotics, does not prevent or cure diseases.
What Is The Status Of U.S. Medical Research?
The status of research in the U.S. is just as grim as the health status of the U.S. population. Enormous amounts of money are expended on research projects by the U.S. Government and large corporations. Projects that look for evidence in support of new ideas do not get funded. Projects that funded efforts to find new information could endanger the earlier research by members of the committees deciding who gets the grants. In this manner the system perpetuates itself with mediocrity. Most research ends up being aimed at getting an income rather than seriously trying to uncover new knowledge.
Considerable time is wasted trying to find grant money. The creative innovative thinker could be a risk to established researchers and does not get funded. Dr. Donald Goodwin, chairman of psychiatry at the University of Kansas remarked "If it's trivial you can probably study it. If it's important, you probably can't." This huge influx of grant money has led to incorrect thinking that the best teacher was the best researcher and the one who got the largest research grants was the best teacher which is obviously silly. The end result of this process was the conversion of medical schools into a kennel of researchers who secondarily teach medical students.
To survive in this academic millieu one must "publish or perish." Naturally the quality of most of these publications are mediocre or worse and much fraudulent research is yet to be uncovered. Many researchers are receiving money from pharmaceutical firms. This, of course, colors their results. Even the highly respected New England Journal Of Medicine has become contaminated. They have established a policy that they will only accept papers from authors who are receiving less than $10,000 annually from a pharmaceutical firm. Naturally, a researcher getting only $9,999 would not be tempted to alter his research to please the drug firm. Incidentally, I am as guilty of taking money from drug companies as anyone having attended wonderful meals, golf tournaments, received medical bags etc. at the expense of pharmaceutical companies.
What Public Health Measures Need To Be Instituted?
Serious efforts to improve public health must begin with stopping the sale of disease-causing margarine and transfats, removing fluoride and chlorine from drinking water, ending the use of mercury for dental amalgams, encouraging grazing of cattle instead of feedlots, banning irradiated and genetically modified foods, ending hormone injections into cows and cattle, and massive education campaigns to warn the public about the danger of sugar excesses, aluminum, and processed foods.
All these steps will be vigorously resisted by powerful entrenched special interest groups. Physicians who offer the public alternative health therapies need to be protected from harassment by governmental agencies.
1 Casper David Modern Foods: The Sabotage of Earth's Food Supply Center Point Press, 12463 Rancho Bernardo Road, San Diego, Cal 92128
2 Spotlight October 30, 2000 pg. 11
3 Wilson Duff Fateful Harvest: The Story of a Small Town, A Global Industry, and a Toxic Secret HarperCollins 212-207-7520 ISBN 0060193697
4 Foster Harold D. What Really Causes AIDS? Trafford Publishing, 2333 Government St., Victoria, B.C. V8T 4P4, Canada Toll-free 1-888-232-4444 (Canada & U.S.)
5 Smith Thomas Insulin: Our Silent Killer P.O. Box 7685, Loveland, Co 80537, 970-669-9176 6 Gaby Alan R. The New England Journal Of Drugs (Editorial) August-September Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients pg.152
Dr. James A. Howenstine is a board certified specialist in internal medicine
who spent 34 years caring for office and hospital patients. Curiosity sparked
a 4 year study of natural health products when 5 of his patients with severe
rheumatoid arthritis were able to discontinue the use of methotrexate (chemotherapy
agent) after trying an extract of New Zealand mussels for the therapy of severe
rheumatoid arthritis. According to JAMA drs. (drug companies really) are the #2 cause
of death in the U.S. Send this mail to all your friends you care for. Keep vitamins from
being regulated as drugs, as you can see without them the U.S. would have the lowest
life expectancy in the survey not #37 Do your own research don’t let the FDA own your
families bodies if you wish to live.