Monday, June 25, 2012

Big Pharma Has No Shame

Two days ago (6.23.12), in my blog article I wrote that 50,000 people died from taking a prescription medication that should not have been prescribed.  I was talking about the COX-2 medications such as Vioxx and Celebrex.  What happened with these medications is a national tragedy.   You would think that 50,000 deaths and over 100,000 heart attacks due to a medication would warrant congressional investigations and a special prosecutor.  Unfortunately, with the U.S. Congress in their back pocket, the Big Pharma Cartel would not let that happen.  

In today’s New York Times (6.25.12) there is an article titled, “In Documents on Pain Drug, Signs of Doubt and Deception.”  This article described unsealed emails in a securities fraud case against Pfizer.  The author of the article wrote, “A research director for Pfizer was positively buoyant after reading that an important medical conference had just featured a study claiming that the new arthritis drug Celebrex was safer on the stomach than more established drugs.”  The next paragraph quoted the Pfizer research director in an email to a colleague where he stated, “They swallowed our story, hook, line and sinker.”

I wrote in my book, Drugs That Don’t Work and Natural Therapies That Do, that COX-2 inhibitors were initially promoted as safer than the older anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen.  However there was no credible data to support the claim that COX-2 inhibitors were safer than older anti-inflammatory medications.  None.  However, most doctors failed to study the mechanism of action of these new COX-2 drugs and began prescribing them in large amounts.  As I stated earlier, the end result is 50,000 are dead and over 100,000 suffered a stroke or heart attack.

That quote from the Pfizer researcher is beyond words.  Big Pharma has no regard for our health.  They only want to maximize profits, even if it means promoting bad drugs.  Don’t be taken in by their propaganda.  You must educate yourself on how these drugs work in the body.  That is the only way you can make an educated decision about whether to take the medication.    

Saturday, June 23, 2012

50,000 People Die From Taking A Drug That Should Not Be Prescribed

An article in JAMA (June 6, 2012, Vol. 307, No. 21, page 2247) states, “For years, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that target the…Cox-2 enzyme have been linked to increased cardiovascular risks.  New research indicates that these elevated risks occur because COX-2 inhibitors suppress prostacyclin—a vasodilator and platelet inhibitor with heart protecting properties.”

This ‘new’ research has come much too late for the 50,000 who died and over 100,000 patients who suffered a stroke or a heart attack directly related to the use of a COX-2 inhibitor such as Vioxx or Celebrex. 

However, simply looking at the mechanism of action of COX-2 inhibitors would lead anyone to predict that their use would be associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular problems including stroke and heart attack. 

How can I make such a strong statement?  In my book, Drugs That Don’t Work and Natural Therapies That Do, I discuss the biochemical mechanism of action of commonly used drugs.  Nearly all prescription medications work by poisoning enzymes or blocking receptors in the body.  Either way, most prescription drugs disrupt the normal biochemistry of the body which lead to adverse effects.

In the case of the COX-2 medications, they work by poisoning the enzyme cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2).  As previously stated, this enzyme is responsible for producing prostacyclin which is a vasodilator and a platelet inhibitor.  It does not take an M.D. or a PhD to predict that a disruption in prostacyclin production will lead to an increased risk of adverse cardiovascular events.  I describe the problems with the COX-2 inhibitors in more detail in my book.

What can you do?  The best advice I can give you is to be careful about taking prescription medications, especially for the long-term.  This includes commonly prescribed medications for treating diabetes, high cholesterol, osteoporosis, and gastritis.  Each of these conditions is discussed in my book.  Having said that, it is important to point out that there is a time and a place for most prescription medications.  Keep in mind that doctors prescribe too many inadequate drugs which are associated with too many serious adverse effects.  

Many conditions can be effectively managed by making better lifestyle choices such as improving the diet, exercising, and correcting nutritional and hormonal imbalances. This has been my clinical experience after treating patients for over twenty years.  COX-2 inhibitors are prescribed for their anti-inflammatory effects.  There are many natural products such as enzymes and curcumin that have equal or even more anti-inflammatory effects as compared to prescription NSAID's.  Furthermore, the natural anti-inflammatory items do not have the serious side effects that plague all the NSAID's (both COX-1's and COX-2's). 

Most importantly, you need to educate yourself about the mechanism of action of a prescribed drug.  Once you have the relevant information you can decide whether it is in your best interest to take the prescribed drug.  Remember, it is your decision on whether or not to take a prescription medication.  
Drugs That Don't Work and Natural Therapies That Do can be ordered by clicking here:  

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Iodine Deficiency Still Occurring At Epidemic Rates

At my office, my partners and I have found that iodine deficiency is occurring at epidemic rates.  We have tested over 6,000 patients and  found the vast majority significantly low in iodine.  Iodine is an essential nutrient; we cannot live without it.  Iodine concentrates in the glandular tissue.  It helps to ensure that the glandular tissue is healthy and maintains a normal architecture.  A deficiency in iodine sets the stage for problems with the glandular tissue.
Which tissues comprise the glandular tissue?  The breast, ovaries, uterus, prostate, and thyroid gland all are part of the glandular tissue.  A deficiency in iodine can cause a disrupted architecture of the glandular tissue. This can ultimately lead to problems such as cysts, nodules, dysplasia and cancer of these tissues.  Unfortunately, we are in the midst of an epidemic rise in cancer of the breasts, ovaries, uterus, thyroid and prostate.  I believe iodine deficiency is (in part) responsible for this epidemic rise in cancer and other diseases of these tissues.

However, it is not just cancer that is a consequence of iodine deficiency.  If a pregnant woman is deficient in iodine, the fetus will also suffer complications.  An article in Nutrients (2011;3:265-273) describes the fetal consequences of iodine deficiency.  During the first trimester, the fetus is dependent on the thyroid hormone produced by the mother.  If the mother is deficient in thyroid hormone, the fetus’ thyroid will not develop normally and the fetus may be subjected to neurological problems.

According to the article, in order for a pregnant woman to produce enough thyroid hormone to meet both her own and the baby’s requirements, a 50% increase in iodine intake is recommended.  Adequate iodine levels are needed to produce thyroid hormone.   Iodine deficiency in the mother results in damage to the fetal brain which is aggravated by fetal hypothyroidism. 

I have been writing and lecturing about thyroid problems and iodine deficiency for nearly 20 years.  Unfortunately, over this time period, iodine deficiency is still occurring at epidemic rates.  I have no doubt that if we do not correct this decline, the increasing burden of illness will lower our standard of living. 

Iodine deficiency should be a national health concern addressed by the highest levels of the government.  Since it takes 100 years (my estimate) for the government to react, I say that you should not wait;  take matters into your own hands.  Educate yourself about iodine and have your levels checked.  If you are low in iodine, I suggest supplementing with iodine.  More importantly, it is vitally important for women of child-bearing age to have their iodine levels assessed before they become pregnant.    

More information about iodine and how to be tested for it can be found in my book, Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It.  This book can be ordered at: