There is a lot of information available to those who seek it, regardless of the topic. How do we separate fact from fiction?
Fiction is akin to fake news. We assume it to be true because of the source. We want it to be true if it agrees with what we already believe. For instance, a milk marketing campaign ran advertisements (Milk: It Does the Body Good) telling us that drinking milk prevented osteoporosis and helped to build stronger bones. It doesn’t do either.
Based on this commercial and similar ones, there are a lot of people who believe that milk (and other dairy products are healthy. You might find the truth if you looked, but why would a person look? They know that milk does the body good.
The same is correct about many other aspects of health. I have had many discussions with friends and family about the efficacy of statin drugs (atorvastatin/Lipitor, fluvastatin/Lescol, lovastatin /Mevacor, pravastatin/ Pravachol, rosuvastatin/Crestor, simvastatin/Zocor, and pitavastatin/Livalo).
Statin drugs are a prescription medicine that blocks the action of the liver enzyme (3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-coenzyme A [HMG-CoA] reductase) that is responsible for the body’s production of cholesterol. It stops our body from making cholesterol.
Decades ago, there wasn’t much interest in lowering the levels of cholesterol in our bodies. Pharmaceutical companies developed statin drugs and had made a fortune with them. Why does our body manufacture cholesterol? Cholesterol is used in every cell in our bodies. It is used in hormone production. If the body is not making (or you are not eating dietary cholesterol), we will have problems with weight, sex, digestion, bone and mental health.
Without cholesterol, our bodies cannot digest fats which can lead to several cardiovascular diseases. Cholesterol is found in every cell in our bodies because it is the protective barrier of each cell. Without that protective barrier, we will have cellular energy dysfunction which can lead to many other health concerns and diseases.
I have given several presentations on cholesterol and the body. One question I ask each audience is why do half the people who die of heart attacks have normal cholesterol levels? Is the statin drug only 50% effective?
Initially, statin drugs were prescribed to patients with high cholesterol and no history of heart disease. Two of my friends recently told me that their doctors put them on a statin drug because of their age and not on any other factor. The doctors were ‘preventing’ a potential event in the future.
If our medical community is telling us to do something, how do we know it is correct? It’s hard, no doubt.
I was at the dentist’s office this past month. In the process of getting two crowns, one of my teeth was found to have decay affecting the root. The doctor recommended a root canal. From my research, I will never get a root canal. It is almost a hundred percent guarantee of getting cancer in the future.
Harmful anaerobic bacteria thrive in the miles of tiny tubes in the tooth root system that is sealed off by a root canal. Bacteria leaches into other parts of our body. Over time, our immune systems are challenged. Left unchecked and treated, the risk of cancer (and other health issues) increases.
We rely on the advice of professionals to act. We trust that government agencies (FDA, for example) are there to protect us. But, there are many cases (Quaaludes, Darvon, DES/synthetic estrogen, Vioxx, and many others) that demonstrate they don’t. Future health challenges won’t be known for years (or decades) in many cases.
What do I recommend? Research and try to prove and disprove any drugs you might be taking. Discuss your concerns with your medical professional. There are many options a doctor can give you. And, be vigilant if something sounds too good. It might not be.