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You Can Wil Your Health Battle – If You Want To
I recently came across a 2003 press release from the Lewin Group titled, “New Study Finds Increased Multivitamin Use in Older Adults Could Save Medicare $1.6 Billion.”
Excerpt from press release: “While the evidence strongly supports the beneficial role of multivitamins in improving immune function and reducing the risk of heart disease, the researchers also reviewed the literature that examined the effects of multivitamin supplementation on colorectal cancer, prostate Cancer and Prostate Cancer Prevention Cancer, Diabetes and Osteoporosis…”
Think about what this might mean, especially for those in nursing homes. I doubt that residents are taking vitamins regularly every day. I believe one of the reasons COVID is killing so many nursing home residents is poor nutrition. Their nutrient-deprived immune systems cannot cope with the virus.
Remember, this was released in 2003 and little has changed since then. The American people still eat mostly nutrient-poor fast food, out-of-the-box diets. Supplements are increasingly being taken to correct nutritional deficiencies, but many are taken only occasionally and the recommended doses are often insufficient.
For example, the recommended daily intake of vitamin C for adult men is 90 mg, according to the Mayo Clinic. For adult women, it’s 75 mg, but be careful not to take more. (I’ve been taking massive doses of vitamin C for decades, and as you know, it hasn’t killed me yet.). The Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University recommends 400 milligrams of vitamin C per day, but who would heed this “crazy” advice? The chances of getting 400 mg/day in most daily diets are very slim. What’s the question? It’s a general hostility to adequate nutritional supplementation.
Nutrition education in medical school is totally inadequate. In “The State of Nutrition Education in Medical Schools,” we read, “Over the past two decades, there have been numerous calls to improve the nutritional knowledge and skills of medical students and physicians. However, most graduating medical students continue to incorporate their Nutritional readiness rated as inadequate.”
It is indeed not enough. Unless your doctor has taught himself good nutrition, don’t bother asking him what to eat. He might scoff at your advice to take vitamins and tell you, “Just eat well and you’ll be fine.” He might eat cold pizza for breakfast on the drive to the office, showing that he doesn’t know something is a good diet.
We brag that we have the best “health care” system in the world. However, the term “wellness” refers primarily to drugs in the pharmaceutical industry, which is not “wellness” but a for-profit business. Big Phama has launched a series of expensive and often dangerous drugs, many of which have side effects that are worse than the treatment. It is contemptible that the pharmaceutical industry would dare to advertise their products on television (“Ask your doctor if XYZ is right for you”).
In relation to the above, consider this: 34% of older adults in the US are prescribed potentially inappropriate medications. Taking inappropriate medications among older adults has been linked to increased hospitalizations, costing patients more than $450 a year on average, according to a new study.According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), 100,000 Americans die each year from reactions to prescription drugs, making it the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S.
These potentially inappropriate medications may have been prescribed by a charming doctor you love and trust very much, but he/she may know little or nothing about the new drug, other than interview notes from a salesperson (who may only have a high school degree). Lived in an office with scripts and catchphrases provided by the pharmaceutical company she worked for.
If you were interested in improving your nutrition and increasing your chances of a healthier, more beautiful later life, what would you do? First, do something simple: clean up your diet. Remove as many refined carbohydrates as possible. Read product labels for carbohydrate content. I know how hard it is to eliminate sugar, but it’s a killer. Cautiously, I switched to stevia.
Eat: eggs, fresh fruits and vegetables, meat and fish free of antibiotics and hormones. Try delicious Hemp Hearts in your Coach Oatmeal. (both available at Costco). Serve with organic blueberries (Costco frozen). If you haven’t tried almond milk, give it a try. You’ll know you’re on the right track when your supermarket grocery shopping skips the middle aisle and instead focuses on the fresh fruit and vegetable aisle.
If you’re not taking supplements and want to start, go easy on yourself. Start with a good daily multivitamin, such as Centrum. My favorite resource is Life Extension Magazine. If you’re new, don’t let magazine articles scare you. There is a lot we all need to know to help us live a long and healthy life. Remember, your health is your responsibility, not your doctor’s.
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