December 2004

Vol. 3, No. 12

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The Year in Review

The 10 Most Important Health Reports
From the McDougall Newsletter

Not only did you hear of these important issues first by reading our monthly publication, but the news was reported in terms that were meaningful to you and to those you love.  Taking action on any one of these timely reports has the real potential to save you from suffering and to save you money – in other words, a longer better life at no cost to you.

1)  People Are Infected with Leukemia Viruses from Cows
(February 2004)

The Real Issues:  Nine out of ten herds of cattle in the United States (and most other cattle-producing countries) are infected with bovine leukemia viruses.

Importance to You:  74% of people eating the American diet (from beef and dairy products) have been infected with these viruses.  Bovine leukemia viruses are known to cause leukemia and lymphomas in animals, and the same is suspected for people.

Action to Take:  Stop consuming meat and dairy products and never begin feeding them to your children and grandchildren.  Even if you are already infected, a plant based diet can reduce your risk for developing these cancers.

2)  Atkins Medical Report Shows Effects of His Diet
(February 2004)

The Real Issues:  Dr. Robert Atkins’ medical report (following his death in April 2003) was released to the public in February of 2004, and it revealed that he was grossly overweight and had cardiovascular (heart and artery) disease.

Importance to You:  Over half of the people in the USA and other western countries have experimented with an “Atkins-type,” low-carbohydrate, high-fat, high-protein, high-cholesterol diet (a diet high in meat and dairy).  More than 100 years of research says this kind of eating will destroy your health and appearance. 

Action to Take:  To avoid the unattractive personal appearance and poor health of Robert Atkins, MD, follow the advice which is the opposite of his recommendations.  In other words, eat a high carbohydrate, low-fat diet, based on plant foods.

3)  “Good” HDL-Cholesterol Is Meaningless
(April 2004)

The Real Issues:  HDL-cholesterol as measured on common laboratory tests fails to help predict your risk of suffering from coronary artery (heart) disease. 

Importance to You:  HDL-cholesterol can lead to 2 dangerous consequences:  1) Your total cholesterol is high, but your doctor reassures you that there is nothing to worry about because your  “good” HDL-cholesterol is also high – as a result, you miss an opportunity to correct the real indicators of trouble (total and LDL-cholesterol) by being falsely reassured.  2)  After following a healthy diet (plant-food based) your total cholesterol falls and so does your HDL (a fraction of total cholesterol). Your doctor tells you that you are now unhealthy because of your low-HDL, or worse yet he tells you to eat more meat (cholesterol) in order to raise your HDL-cholesterol.

Action to Take:  Strive to get your total cholesterol below 150 mg/dl (and LDL-cholesterol below 80 mg/dl) with a healthy diet (and in some cases, judicious use of medications).  Ignore your HDL-cholesterol values – they are largely irrelevant and misleading.

4)  PSA Tests Are Dangerous
(June 2004 and September 2004)

The Real Issues:  Men are encouraged to take a PSA test as if it has been shown to save lives – and it does not.  Researchers from Stanford University finally admitted to the public that the PSA test is inaccurate and fails to catch the cancer at a stage early enough to be treated effectively by surgery or radiation.   The test does far more harm than good.

Importance to You:  Without adding a day to your life, this test is very likely to cause you the misery of worry, and any follow-up therapy is likely to cause pain, and/or impotence and incontinence (you may have to wear a diaper or indwelling urinary catheter for the rest of your life).

Action to Take:  When your doctor insists upon a PSA test, begin by asking for evidence for the benefits.  Then refuse the test.  At the same time make dietary changes (low-fat, plant based) that will protect you from prostate cancer.

5)  Over-Treating Blood Pressure Kills
(July 2004)

The Real Issues:  Using medication to lower blood pressure can increase your risk of dying from heart disease by reducing the flow of blood to vital tissues.

Importance to You:  Your doctor is likely working under the incorrect premise that your blood pressure should be forced to normal (110/70 mmHg or less) with his powerful drugs.  You may die as a result of his “good” intentions. 

Action to Take:  Lower your blood pressure with a healthy diet, exercise and good habits (off the alcohol and coffee).  Only treat with medications when your blood pressure is sustained (over months) at 160/100 mmHg or higher.  Do not lower your pressures below 140/85 mmHg with medications.  Pay attention to other “risk factors” like body weight, cholesterol, blood sugar, etc.  Without medication a low blood pressure (110/70 mm Hg or less) is healthy.

6)  Supplements Can Damage Your Health
(August, November, and December 2004)

The Real Issues:  Taking pills filled with concentrated nutrients can increase your risk of heart disease and cancer, and your overall risk of dying. 

Importance to You:  Vitamins, minerals, and other phytochemicals (plant substances) are essential for your health.  When taken as an isolated, concentrated form, as pills, they can cause metabolic imbalances within your cells that can cause you to become ill.

Action to Take:  Get your vitamins and other micronutrients from their natural packages (fruits and vegetables).  Use supplements rarely (with proper indications), because they are really medications with benefits and adverse effects.

7)  Vioxx and Celebrex Increase Heart Attacks
(September 2004)

The Real Issues:  Cox-2 inhibitors are no more effective than regular NSAID’s, such as aspirin and Motrin, and they increase your risk of death from heart disease (at least doubled).

Importance to You:  The pharmaceutical companies are concerned with profit – period.  Knowledge of cox-2 inhibitors causing heart attacks has been published in the scientific literature for more than five years.  If your doctor has been unaware of troubles with drugs, and is not working to get you off medication, than search elsewhere for better health care.

Action to Take:  Put all your efforts into becoming healthy so that you can avoid the risks associated with the medical industries.  Choose simple, time-honored, cheap medications only, and only when medication is necessary.

8)  Lumpectomy Best for Breast Cancer
(September 2004)

The Real Issues:  Simple, non-deforming surgery (and some anti-estrogen therapy) is as effective as mutilating mastectomies and radiations for breast cancer.

Importance to You:  One in eight women will develop breast cancer.  Unless you are well-informed, the kind of treatment you receive will depend upon the doctors that oversee your care – for better and, usually, for worse, because most doctors treat women far more aggressively than the 100 years of scientific evidence justifies.

Action to Take:  Avoid breast cancer with a healthy diet.  If disease does befall you, then become a well-informed consumer.  Demand that your doctors justify their recommendations with solid research.  Choose less, rather than more, therapy.

9)  Meat Leads to Colitis and Arthritis
(November 2004 and December 2004)

The Real Issues:  Autoimmune diseases, like arthritis and colitis, are caused by eating the rich western diet (meat and dairy products).

Importance to You:  Victims of these diseases are told “we do not know the cause” – not true.  They are placed on powerful, expensive, dangerous, and relatively ineffective medications, with a promise of great benefit – not true.  What causes disease promotes disease – your best treatment is a change in your diet.

Action to Take:  A diet based on starches with the addition of fruits and vegetables, not only prevents serious autoimmune diseases, such as arthritis and colitis, but can be an effective cure – and that is what the research says.

10)  Calcium Channel Blockers Kill
(December 2004)

The Real Issues: Calcium channel blockers are profitable, but dangerous, medications used to treat high blood pressure and heart disease. They double your risk of dying of heart disease.  They also increase your risk of cancer, bleeding, and suicide. I refuse to prescribe them.

Importance to You:  High profits from these medications cause drug companies to teach your doctors dangerous prescribing habits – you suffer.  Your health is irrelevant.

Action to Take:  Lower your blood pressure with diet, exercise and good habits (no alcohol or coffee).  If your elevated blood pressure persists (remains 160/100 mm Hg or greater for months) then use simple diuretics (they cost pennies) – and do not treat too aggressively (see above).

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