It doesn’t take an expert to understand many Americans are ignorant about their own health. Ask anyone why they take a statin drug for their high cholesterol, and they’ll just parrot their doctor, that their bad cholesterol (LDL) is too high. The patient will be acutely unaware of cholesterol’s vital function in the body, or the drug’s known depletion of CoQ10 levels.

As a result of this health vacuum, they won’t learn about the West of Scotland Study that tested a cholesterol medication on 6,595 men aged 45-64 for a period of five years, and that it benefited less than .7% of them.  The drug’s effectiveness was highly overrated, yet remains on the market. Nor will they know that cholesterol is not even a reliable indicator for heart disease, or that homocysteine is, as was reported by the New England Journal of Medicine. There are some other contributing components like C-Reactive Protein, which measures the inflammation in your body. At least 60% of preventable diseases are caused by inflammation in the body. The combination of stress, substandard diets, and environment, never enter the discussion.

Who can battle the big money of drug companies that have mounted such an aggressive marketing campaign to suppress natural health information? The public has been successfully duped into believing that their liver is bent on destroying their heart, as if that could actually happen after a million years of selective human evolution.

This general lack of good health information comes also from cherry-picking pundits on the main news channels or is stifled by a conservative health community influenced by large pharmaceutical company interests.

More money is spent on marketing and selling drugs than on preventive medicine or nutrition. By 2005 Direct-to-Consumer Marketing, advertising by way of magazines or television, had reached $4.2 Billion. Only now do young doctors-in-training have any courses in nutrition. Many schools are also funded by drug companies. The sad truth is they’re not in it to cure; it’s a sickness maintenance system.

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Jackson Pines and Cranston Dean in residency at Langosta Lounge in Asbury Park
Jackson Pines and Cranston Dean at Langosta

It is also known by many marketers in other countries, to their benefit, that we are a pill-popping society. In 2004 twice as much money was spent on these drugs than on continued education or new cars and, in 2005, the U. S. spent $250 billion on prescribed pharmaceuticals. All the heavy-duty marketing paid off, because the statin drug market by itself was valued at $12.4 billion in 2008. Another frightening statistic is that approximately 100,000 prescribed med deaths occur a year. When you observe the glut of prescription drug commercials on TV, it’s no surprise.

The borage of flashy commercials compelling the public to ask doctors to prescribe this or that medication for invented ailments is unending. It’s effective because more people ask for them and their doctor complies. The commercials may contain false or misleading information. The bogus term “pre-hypertension” was one of the terms invented for a condition that never existed and used to boost drug sales because the company was sued for another medication in a huge class action lawsuit. It was later discovered that 6 out of 9 panelists were on drug company payrolls promoting the new data for lower cholesterol levels. While patients are fooled to believe low is best, the real fact remains that they can suffer from anxiety or depression caused by plummeting serotonin levels if their cholesterol dips too low

Although physicians do their utmost to discuss healthy lifestyle changes with patients, in this profit-driven system, there’s little time to develop relationships with patients in 10-15 minutes. To make matters worse, according to a 2010 physician access study, doctors are often visited by at least 20 drug representatives a week. Fortunately, those insisting upon appointments before consenting to a meeting are on the rise. Physicians are just another victim in this assembly-line mentality, with disastrous health consequences.

As a result of rising healthcare costs, the average person is left to fend for themselves solving myriad health issues. Sometimes armed with data from an infomercial that promised magical weight loss, or radiant health with a new ground-breaking product, they flood local health food markets. They don’t understand the connection between poor food choices, negligible exercise, or hormonal disruption caused by toxins in the environment. They only want to know how they can stop their acid reflux or obtain relief from arthritis pain.

But because pharmaceutical lobbies have such huge reservoirs of funds, it is illegal to make any health claims about a natural cure, even if it is proven to be highly effective. If it works too well, they’d be put out of business. So, because drug companies cannot patent it, your health care provider cannot even mention it. You will never hear about anything natural on TV either, only drugs or surgery. It’s not really health freedom at all.

Well educated individuals, to their credit, as the result of battling a serious health crisis, become intimately involved with the body mechanic. Their curiosity about why they contracted heart disease, cancer, etc., was not so easily assuaged by simplistic answers offered by the mainstream media, or their physicians. In essence, they became their own Einstein’s, ferreting out information to assist them on their mission to attain vibrant health.


Michele Spector
Brick, NJ 

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Avatar of Allan Dean

Allan Dean

Allan Dean is editor, publisher, and founder of the Atlantic Highlands Herald. Published since 1999 and selected in 2000 by the Borough of Atlantic Highlands as one of their official newspapers, making...