Friday, January 11, 2013

U.S. Health Care Ranks Last

As reported in the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal (1.10.13) a study by the Institute of Medicine found that our health care woes are much worse than we thought.  In fact, over the last 30 years, as compared to other Western countries, we ranked last in nearly every health indicator.  You read that correctly; we ranked last, yet we spend more money on health care than any other country on the planet.

The study found the average life expectancy at birth for American men born in 2007 (75.6 years) was the lowest among all the countries studied and nearly four years shorter than Switzerland.  Women did not fare better.  Their life expectancy was 80.8 years, second from the last and five years shorter than Japan’s. 

Neonatal mortality is a strong indicator of a country’s health status.  We spend more money on neonatal care than any other country.  Where do we rank compared to 16 other Western countries?  Dead last. 
You might think we beat the pack on cardiovascular disease since we take more statin medications than any other people on the planet.  Well, you might think wrong.  Death rates from cardiovascular disease have been declining world-wide.  But, in the U.S., the mortality rate from heart disease is 129 per 100,000 which is higher than every country studied except Finland.   Perhaps all those statin prescriptions aren’t really helping!

One of the authors, Dr. Steven Woolf stated, “Something is fundamentally wrong. Something at the core is causing the U.S. to slip behind these other high-income countries.”  He is right, something is fundamentally wrong.  That something is conventional medicine’s reliance on pharmaceutical medications that work by poisoning enzymes or blocking receptors in the body.  More often than not, these drugs treat the symptoms of the illness rather than the underlying cause.

I have been writing about the problems with conventional medicine in my Natural Way to Health newsletter and in my books.  I believe the whole medical education system needs to be overhauled.  We need to train doctors to understand the importance of the body’s biochemistry and how to maintain and optimize it.   I can assure you that most drug therapies adversely affect the body’s biochemistry.  Natural therapies that optimize vitamin, mineral, and hormonal levels allow the body’s biochemistry to optimally function. 

Finally, as physicians, we need to address the dietary needs of our patients.  We need to educate patients on how to eat better in order for their food to supply them with optimal nutrients.  Unless we make radical changes in the health care system, we will continue to waste more money and have more illness. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

How To Increase Your Risk of Dying? Take a Statin Drug

If you are elderly, how can you increase your risk of dying?  The answer is simple:  Take a statin drug.   

Statin drugs are the most profitable drugs for the Big Pharma Cartel.  Lipitor, Baycol, Zocor, and Crestor are examples of statin medications.  These drugs are prescribed by doctors to lower cholesterol levels.  Do statin drugs lower cholesterol levels?  Yes, they are very efficient at it.  They work by poisoning an enzyme, HMG-CoA Reductase.   

Conventional medicine has succeeded in convincing doctors and patients that we all need to lower our cholesterol levels in order to reduce our risk of developing heart disease.  However, this is no long-term data that shows that lowering your cholesterol level by taking a medication reduces your mortality rate. In fact, the best studies of statin medications show they can lower the risk of developing a non-fatal heart attack by about 1% after two or three years of use.  That is the benefit of taking a medication that poisons a crucial enzyme in the body and has been associated with an increased in cancer, ALS, muscle aches and pains, as well as a decline in mental function. 

What prompted this post?  An article in Clinical Nutrition revealed that compared to elderly patients with cholesterol levels of 200mg/dl, those with cholesterol levels of 183mg/dl had a significantly higher death rate. (1)  The authors found that for every 1mg/dl increase in serum cholesterol, the death rate was reduced by 0.4%.  You read that correctly—elevated cholesterol levels protect the elderly from death.  The Honolulu Heart Program found that men aged 71-93 years in the lowest total cholesterol group had a 64% increase risk in death as compared to men with the highest cholesterol levels.(2)  The Honolulu study was reported in 2001.  It is too bad the media does not trumpet these results.

There are numerous studies showing that there is an inverse correlation between cholesterol levels and the death rate in people over 59 years old.    That means an elevated cholesterol level protects the elderly.  However, it is not just the elderly that are protected.  Cholesterol is a vital substance for all the cells in the body.  Adequate cholesterol levels are needed to promote the health of the cell.  Furthermore, cholesterol is needed to produce all the adrenal and sex hormones in the body. 

I have written extensively about this topic in my book, Drugs That Don’t Work and NaturalTherapies That Do.  Cholesterol-lowering medications should be pulled from the market place.  You can simply look at the biochemical pathway where cholesterol is produced and see the dangers that can occur when that pathway is poisoned.  I predict that within five to ten years, we will have learned our lessons about the statin drugs and they will fall out of favor.  It is not the first time conventional medicine has been wrong—just look at the disastrous story of DES which was prescribed to millions of women in the 1950’s. 

(1) Clinical Nutrition.  Nov. 7, 2012.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Eating Fish Poisons Your Brain

Can eating fish poison your brain?  An article describing two new reports published ahead of a United Nations conference on mercury pollution found that mercury in fish is having an adverse effect on brain function. 

“There does appear to be evidence now, fairly persuasive evidence, that adverse effects occur from {eating} normal amounts of seafood,” claimed an advisor to the World Health Organization.
Unfortunately, all of our seafood has been contaminated with mercury.  The most vulnerable individuals include children and pregnant women.  According the European Union, pregnant or breastfeeding women should not eat tuna more than twice a week.  The FDA has stated they should avoid shark, swordfish, or king mackerel.  (Global Post.  December 4, 2012)

Comment:  Mercury is the second or third most-toxic agent known to mankind.  It poisons hundreds of enzymes in the body.  Furthermore, mercury toxicity causes neurological problems such as memory decline as well as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.  Mercury toxicity has been associated with many chronic illnesses including heart disease and heart failure. 

Should you avoid fish?  I am not sure how to answer that question.  All fish is poisoned with mercury.  However, there are benefits to eating fish.  Now, it is time for me to get off the fence:  I don’t think you need to avoid eating fish forever.  However, If you are going to eat fish, I suggest taking alpha lipoic acid (300mg) with the meal.  Alpha lipoic acid can help bind mercury and allow for its excretion.   I would advise limiting your intake of white tuna and the fish mentioned above.   One final note about sushi—sushi can contain very high mercury levels.  It should be limited and not eaten frequently.   

For years, I used to eat white tuna every day for lunch.  When I checked my mercury levels I was not happy—they were off the chart.  It took me over two years to detoxify from this high level  Needless to say, I do not eat a lot of white tuna fish anymore.   
Unfortunately, fish is not the only source of mercury we are exposed to.  Dental amalgam fillings contain 50% mercury by weight.  Flu shots still are preserved with mercury. There is absolutely NO reason to put mercury in a tooth or to inject it in your body.

For 20 years, I have tested thousands of patients for toxicities.  Unfortunately, I have found mercury toxicity affects over 75% of the patients I have checked.  A holistic health care practitioner can check you for mercury toxicity and guide you on proper detoxification techniques.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Should You Get An Ineffective, Toxic, Flu Vaccine?

I was in CVS the other day and saw the poster stating, “Flu vaccines offered here.”  I thought to myself, who would go to CVS and get a flu shot?  When I asked the pharmacist if a lot of their clients receive the flu shot she replied, “It is a busy part of our practice.”  If  you go to the CVS website, you can see a coupon for 20% off your shopping if you get a flu shot.

Is a flu shot worth 20% off your shopping at a CVS store?  After reading my article, I would be interested in hearing your opinion. I  have posted numerous blogs about the flu shot over the years and wrote a long article in my Natural Way to Health Newsletter (November, 2010) about the ineffectiveness and dangers of the flu vaccine.  More information about my newsletter can be found here:

The latest blog post about the flu vaccine was posted on 9.23.12 and can be accessed from my blog page.  In that article, I wrote about how ineffective the flu vaccine was and that it should not be mandated for hospital workers.

A new study from the University of Minnesota found that flu vaccines are not very effective.  (1)  (Note:  The University of Michigan Wolverines beat them soundly in football 35-13 and, hopefully, will beat Ohio this weekend—GO BLUE!.)

University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy studied 12,000 peer-reviewed publications dating back to 1936.  Michael Osterholm from the University of Minnesota stated, “We found that current influenza vaccine protection is substantially lower than for most routine recommended vaccines and is suboptimal.”  The scientists reported that the vaccine protected adults at a rate of approximately 59% and offered little protection for seniors. 

However, Mr. Osterholm still encourages people to get the flu shot.  It is too bad he missed a chance to state what should be apparent from this study.  He might have said, “There is absolutely no reason to give the flu vaccine to the elderly since not a single study has shown it to be effective for seniors.”
What about the rest of us?  If I told you a medication would have a slightly better than 50% chance of helping you avoid the flu would you take it?  Furthermore, if I told you this medication was contaminated with the second or third most toxic substance known to mankind--mercury--would that influence your decision?

I think the decision is easy—wash your hands, take vitamin C and eat good food. That is a better anti-flu regimen when compared to a toxic, ineffective vaccine.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Boy Who Cried Wulf

The first article was posted as a blog at the American Nurse Today website. You can access the article here: The rebuttal to this article is printed below.

Bioidentical Hormones And Compounding Drug Deaths
Written by WULF H UTIAN MB BCh, PhD, DSc(Med), FRCOG, FACOG, FICS 10/19/2012 

The current tragic situation regarding contaminated compounded steroid injections causing stroke and death should alert women to the danger of using mass produced compounded bioidentical hormones as a menopause therapy.

The concept of bioidentical hormones, popularized by the likes of Suzanne Somers and Oprah Winfrey, has created real confusion. While the term has been used to refer to many well-tested, regulatory (FDA) approved, brand-name HT products containing hormones chemically identical to hormones produced by women (primarily in the ovaries), such as estradiol or progesterone, in the wider medical market it has assumed a different meaning. It is most often used to prescribe custom-made HT formulations (called “bioidentical HT”, or BHT) that are compounded for an individual according to a healthcare provider’s prescription.

It cannot be adequately emphasized that the FDA has not tested these products for efficacy or safety, and they are not approved by any regulatory agency. Indeed, safety information is not consistently provided to women along with their prescription, as is required by the FDA with commercially available HT products (the patient package insert). Moreover, batch standardization and purity may be uncertain (is this month’s prescription identical to last month’s?).

The FDA has actually sample-tested products from some compounding pharmacies and found unapproved contaminants, dosing errors, and other problems. As a result the FDA ruled that compounding pharmacies have made claims about the safety and effectiveness of BHT that is unsupported by clinical trial data and therefore considered to be false and misleading. The FDA has also stated that there is no scientific basis for using saliva testing to adjust hormone levels.

Much of the motivation behind this industry is explained in one word – PROFIT. Indeed the cost of the medications to women could be an issue. Medical insurance companies view many compounded products as experimental drugs and will not cover the cost.

The prescribing of compounded drugs involves the triad of patient, physician/nurse prescriber, and compounding pharmacy. When prescribing an FDA-approved drug according to acceptable indications, in the event of an adverse outcome the nurse/physician is invariably indemnified by the FDA approval process and background support of a major pharmaceutical company, thus unlikely to face personal liability.

Compounders, unlike with FDA-approved products, are not required to provide a patient package insert listing risks and benefits, and their marketing invariably has minimized possibility of risks. Consequently, prescribers of compounded products would be personally exposed should there be an adverse event as a result of administering a product for which neither the prescriber or compounder can prove to have been pure and free of active contaminants, of correct dose, sterile etc. Providers should also be aware that the liability for using a non-FDA-approved drug can be significant, and possible negative consequences can include the invalidation of their malpractice insurance, personal liability, and possible criminal prosecution.

You can immunize yourself to a large extent against malpractice exposure. The simple and direct approach would be to only prescribe FDA-approved products.

Hopefully the extent of the current compounding drug tragedy can be contained.

The bottom line is that for virtually all women with indications for therapy, FDA-approved HT will provide appropriate “bioidentical” therapy without the risks and cost of custom compounded preparations.

Simply put, buyers beware!

Have a great week,
Wulf Utian MD PhD DSc

The Boy Who Cried Wulf

(This is a rebuttal to Dr. Wulf Utian’s blog on the American Nurse Today website reprinted above.  This post was co-written by myself and my colleague Dr. Erika Schwartz.)

It is important to state that compounded medications are ubiquitous in our health care system. Intravenous therapies, pain medications, chemotherapeutic agents, asthma medications, and even orange flavored antibiotics are all created by compounding pharmacies across the country. Our health care system could not function without the expertise of compounding pharmacies.

“The current tragic situation regarding contaminated, compounded steroid injections causing stroke and death should alert women to the danger of using mass produced compounded bioidentical hormones as a menopause therapy.” That quote was part of a blog written by Wulf Utian, M.D., founder of the North American Menopause Society.

Dr. Utian got one thing right; it is a tragic situation that occurred with the contaminated steroids causing meningitis and death. The pharmacy responsible for this tragedy, the same as any FDA approved drug that causes pain and suffering to patients, should be thoroughly investigated and, if necessary, prosecuted. However, to disparage all compounding pharmacies for the actions of one is as ridiculous as blaming all drug companies for one bad drug. Dr. Utian’s comments remind us of the hormone debacle he started in 2002 which, to this day, has left millions of women and their doctors confused and full of unjustified fears.  Dr. Utian claimed that bioidentical hormones had the same adverse effects that synthetic hormones caused.  This has never been shown to be true as bioidentical hormones have an impeccable safety record.  It reminds us of the nursery rhyme about the boy who continually cried wolf.

Unfortunately, there was nothing else constructive to Dr. Utian's vitriolic blog.

His sole purpose was to use this particular incident to further intimidate and confuse prescribers and users of compounded bioidentical hormones into fearing that all compounding pharmacies are providing dangerous, unregulated products. Utian, who appears to function as a pharmaceutical spokesperson rather than a patient advocate, would have you believe that compounding pharmacies are rogue businesses. His claims are blatantly false.

Drug manufacturers make FDA-approved prescription medications for mass markets. In contrast, compounding pharmacies make individualized drugs when the patient's needs can’t be met by commercially available medications. In fact, compounding pharmacists have been mixing drugs with an excellent track record of safety and effectiveness long before the advent of the age of mass-produced pharmaceuticals.

All pharmacies are licensed and regulated at the state level by pharmacy boards. USP is standard in pharmaceutical and compounding pharmacies. National practice standards are established by the Pharmacy Compounding Accrediting Board (PCAB). Compounding pharmacies are strictly regulated at the state level using the same active ingredients in their compounds as FDA-approved drugs available at your local pharmacies.

"...the FDA has not tested {the products used by compounding pharmacies} for efficacy or safety, and {these products} are not approved by any regulatory agency,” stated Dr. Utian.

The fact is that bioidentical hormone ingredients (e.g., estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, thyroid), used by compounding pharmacies, are purchased from suppliers that are registered and inspected by the FDA. Most compounding pharmacies purchase their raw materials from the Professional Compounding Centers of America (PCCA). PCCA purchases their materials though FDA-registered suppliers and verifies their potency through the same testing procedures that pharmaceutical companies use.

Dr. Utian claims the motivation behind the compounding pharmacy industry is “…explained in one word-PROFIT.” Certainly Dr. Utian, who seems to speak for pharmaceutical companies and has even a scholarship in his name paid for by Pfizer, understands the word profit very well. Is there a distinction between profit made by Big Pharma or a compounding pharmacy? Yes, Big Pharma makes more profit and produces drugs that are responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths per year.

In fact, pharmaceutical drugs have been shown to be the third or fourth most common cause of death in the US.(1) The number of deaths from compounded medicines pales in comparison to the number of deaths caused by prescription medications. As we have previously stated, any medication-related death should be investigated and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Dr. Utian uses intimidation tactics claiming that doctors who use compounded medications are exposing themselves to increased malpractice risk and should stop using these items. This would include bioidentical hormones. For those of us who rely on compounded medications to meet the unique needs of our patients, the outcome of this type of gross intimidation would be to provide suboptimal care and become doctors who only care about malpractice and not the patients.

We denounce this suggestion and blatant affront to good medical practice.

Together, we have used compounded, bioidentical hormones and other compounded medications in our medical practice for over 40 years in tens of thousands of patients. We work closely with our compounding pharmacists and find their skill invaluable and supportive of individualized patient care. We have been writing and teaching doctors and patients about the effectiveness of compounded, bioidentical hormones for many years.

We strongly believe Dr. Utian would do better to focus his energy on helping the FDA figure out why FDA-approved prescription drugs are the third or fourth leading cause of death in the United States.

(1): JAMA. 4.15.98. 279. N. 15. P. 1200-6. This article can be accessed here:

David Brownstein, M.D.
Erika Schwartz M.D.

Drs. Schwartz and Brownstein are founding members of the that presently has over 1,000 professional members.

David Brownstein, M.D.
5821 W. Maple Rd. Ste. 192
West Bloomfield, MI 48323
O:  (248) 851-1600
F:  (248) 851-0421

Erika Schwartz MD,PC
200 West 57th St
Suite 502
New York, NY 10019
O. 212-873-3420
F. 212-937-2279

Dr. Brownstein's book, The Miracle of Natural Hormones describes how natural , bioidentical hormones can be safely used. More information can be found at the link below.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Support Labelling for Genetically Modified Foods

On November 6, 2012, California voters will be voting on Proposition 37.  Proposition 37, if passed, would require food labeling for genetically modified foods.  A ‘yes’ vote would favor the new food labeling laws.

The European Union as well as Japan and Australia require genetically modified organisms (GMO) foods to be labeled.  What is wrong with informing us what is in the food we are buying? 

You can guess who is against the labeling of GMO foods.  Big food companies such as Kellogg Co., Monsanto, Dupont, Pepsico, Kraft Foods, Coco-Cola, Nestle, General Mills, H.J. Heinz, Hershey, and Ocean Spray have donated millions of dollars to convince voters to vote ‘no’. 

It is unbelievable that food manufacturers are not required to label what is in their products.    Did you know that approximately 93% of the soybeans, 90% of canola and 88% of corn grown in the U.S. are from genetically modified (GM) crops?  The question to think about is, “Is there anything wrong with GM crops? 

Soy has been genetically modified to withstand the herbicide Roundup.  GM soy plants are resistant to Roundup.  Therefore, crops of GM soy crops can be sprayed with copious amounts of Roundup to kill weeds and enhance the yield.  Unfortunately, the final product containing this GM soy also contains the herbicide Roundup. 

As a medical doctor, I would highly advise you not to ingest any amount of Roundup if you can avoid it.  That sentence is stated with some sarcasm as you don’t need to be a medical doctor to understand that eating herbicides is probably not a good thing.   

A recent study showed that rats fed a lifetime of genetically modified corn suffered tumors and damage to multiple organs. (1)  GM corn is also resistant to Roundup and it is widely used on GM corn crops.  As I previousely stated, 88% of U.S. corn crops are genetically modified.  The pictures below showed tumors that rats developed from eating trace amounts (at levels legally allowed in the water supply) of Roundup.  Furthermore, rats fed GM corn and traces of Roundup suffered severe organ damage to the liver and kidneys.  It is important to note that the GM corn used in this study is produced at Monsanto and is widely used across the U.S.  The end product of this GM corn is readily available in many consumer products including cereals and chips.

I don’t know about you, but I would prefer not to eat food that has herbicides in it.  And, I would also like to know if the food I am buying is genetically modified.  Unfortunately, our government doesn’t see it this way as food companies are not required to list GM ingredients on food labels.  This is yet another example of our government not working for us.  If the government worked for us, it would be a no-brainer to properly label GM-containing products so that we, the consumers, can decide whether we want to ingest those products. 
However, we have a chance to win one if California voters pass Proposition 37.  There is absolutely no reason not to pass it---we are just asking for transparency in food labels.  It this passes in California, proper food labeling will eventually come to the rest of the country.    

I have donated money to the Organic Consumers Fund in support of this bill.  Monsanto and other companies, who do not want labeling of GM foods, have been blitzing California with ads against this proposition.  I encourage you to consider donating to the Organic Consumers Fund to fight back.  You can go here to find more information:  I have no financial obligations with this group.


(1) Int J Biol Sci 2009; 5(7):706-726

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

USATODAY Article on Compounding Pharmacy Tragedy

Dr. Brownstein, along with his colleague Erika Schwartz, M.D., has an article published today (10.16.12) on  The article provides the doctors' point of view on the compounding pharmacy tragedy that has occurred due to the contaminated steroid injections. You can view the article here: