Professor Tim Noakes
The current medical model doesn’t work. These diseases are all nutritionally based. The majority of the chronic diseases I am aware of are all nutritionally based, and you can’t give medications, you’ve got to change the diet. And the beauty is that you start helping people.
Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”. Isn’t it such a shame that most people living in our country seem to have forgotten this piece of advice? How about this for a frightening statistic: A recent article in The Telegraph newspaper titled ‘Pill Nation’, revealed that, “Half of the nation were now taking prescription medication with rising use of antidepressants fuelling a 47 per cent increase in drugs dispensed over the last decade,” and that a recent NHS survey showed that, “One quarter of people are on at least three drugs, with millions of pensioners on at least five types of medication”.
In her book Minding My Mitochondria, author Dr Terry Wahls says, “Universal health care and free medication only treat existing chronic diseases. This is important, but most conventional treatments only control the symptoms of disease. They usually don’t reverse damage that has already been done”. So, if we combine the wise words of Hippocrates with Dr Wahls, we can draw the conclusion that they are advising that we should use food and nutrition as a prevention, rather than looking to medicine to control and mask symptoms.
Even though living a primal existence can cure several illnesses, we are all still much better off doing everything we can to prevent health issues occurring in the first place. I want you to consider this for a minute: why is it that we will happily send our car in for a service even when there is nothing wrong with it? Why in business today do we invest more money and effort in preventing problems than we do in building huge customer service teams? Because in everything other than the most important thing of all – our health – we have already shifted our attention to prevention rather than cure.
Due to our present predicament, caused, in my opinion, predominantly by food and pharmaceutical corporate greed and governmental lack of genuine concern, we now have more people that need to be cured than need prevention! And while there are many that criticise our doctors for being too quick to reach for their prescription pad rather than to sit and investigate possible lifestyle changes, I personally don’t blame them. I think our doctors are in a really difficult, no-win position. Not only are they overloaded with more and more patients to see each and every day, they are then under immense pressure by being measured and monitored in everything they do. It’s far safer for our GP to prescribe a course of approved medicine to help alleviate symptoms, drugs that are produced by the huge pharmaceutical companies paying huge taxes to our government, than to risk sticking their neck out suggesting lifestyle changes that don’t make anyone any profits.
While I sympathise with our overworked doctors, I feel the need to scream loudly that too many people are being prescribed drugs to mask symptoms, instead of curing the root of their problems. I often speak to people who are on lifetime medication, when a change in lifestyle would cause the underlying problem to disappear. It drives me crazy that I have got friends on statins, who in my opinion just don’t need to be, and even worse when I see antibiotics being handed out for conditions that have nothing to do with bacterial infections.
My lovely wife is beautiful, petite, and for some reason prone to picking up infections. Sadly, over the years, it seems all that the doctors want to do is give her another course of antibiotics. Have you ever heard the saying, ‘when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail’? Well, in my opinion, that’s what seems to be happening with far too many GPs and their prescription pads, but again it’s hard to lay the blame at doctors individually – it’s the system that’s wrong! Luckily for me, my family and closest friends are now living primally, and approach illnesses by first listening to the advice of Hippocrates. I hope that you will be successful in convincing your family and friends to do the same too.
Why are so many pills being prescribed? Well, according to Dr Thomas Levey, author of Stop America’s #1 Killer!, big pharma spends a whopping $16 billion on direct-to- physician peddling and another $4 billion peddling their wares direct to the consumer. Current beliefs and medical treatments for heart disease, stroke, obesity and diabetes are based on pharmaceutical models. As professor and nutrition activist Tim Noakes says, “They demonstrably do not work, as global epidemics of all these conditions have shown. They have worked only to fill the coffers of the drug-makers.”
Let us all pull together to advocate and campaign on behalf of natural preventative medicine as a first step to wellness and try as many natural methods as we can before we accept prescriptions for long-term medication.
Dr Aseem Malhotra
Aseem made the following interesting comments as we were having an in-depth debate about data, numbers needed to treat with a drug for a positive outcome and the difference between absolute and relative risk statistics.
Even the World Health Organisation in 2009 put out a bulletin, written by a gentleman who I have met called Gerd Gigerenzer, who is considered the world’s leading researcher expert in health literacy. He basically said that unless you tell patients this when you are prescribing them a drug, it’s basically unethical. I have said this in lectures all around the world, that we have unwittingly been practising unethical medicine. Not deliberately, but unwittingly, by not explaining the statistics and likelihood of success to the patient, to help them make an informed decision in a transparent way. Sadly, 70% of healthcare professionals, including doctors, fail basic tests on their understanding of evidence-based medicine. So, there needs to be a cultural shift. This was not something you learn in medical school. We need to change the way we learn, the way we teach, and the way we communicate with our patients, so we become more open and transparent. The interesting thing that once patients are given all of the information about a drug or a medical procedure, about the chances of benefit in general, you find people will choose less of that. Then we start to look at the alternatives. Good health rarely comes out of a medicine bottle.
Don’t Rely On Drugs As A Fix
As you will read in various topics throughout this book, our immune system is very dependent on the health of our microbiome, and every course of antibiotics we take indiscriminately kills off many of the helpful bacteria in our guts along with the bad ones. Even in 1945, when Alexander Fleming won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for inventing the first antibiotic – penicillin – he warned, “The time might come when penicillin can be bought by anyone in the shops. Then there is the danger that the ignorant man may easily under-dose himself and, by exposing his microbes to non-lethal quantities of the drug, make them resistant”.
In 1942, Anne Miller became the first patient ever to have a course of antibiotics. She became seriously ill after giving birth and was suffering from a raging virus. Within hours of receiving the antibiotics, she started to recover, and the new medicine was heralded a success. But it was so scarce, that doctors actually filtered her urine so that they could recycle it! The reason I mention this story is to show the foresight of its inventor who, even when it was still so rare, was warning of its overuse. Don’t get me wrong – without antibiotics the world would be a far deadlier place, but the overuse of it should be of concern.
We really have got to the stage where, for almost every ailment, we turn to pills and doctors for a quick fix, rather than trying to eliminate the cause naturally. Over the past few years, whenever I have hurt myself in the gym, pulled a muscle sailing or developed tennis elbow, rather than going to a doctor my personal trainer and his team have solved the problem by identifying the route cause.
Some 10 years ago I hurt my knee playing squash, and the result was hospitalisation and a major operation to reconstruct my anterior cruciate ligament. Sadly, my eldest son Matt had the same operation in recent years, but for him two separate ongoing rugby injuries led to serious operations on both knees. Having now learnt more from a personal trainer and his team, all three knee operations could most likely have been avoided if we had dealt with the root cause of the issue as soon as we started to feel the symptoms.
Author Nina Teicholz
We have to remember that big pharmaceutical companies are not profiting if you are getting well. They really have no interest in better health.
In December 2003, Dr Allen Rose, who at the time was the International Vice President of GlaxoSmithKline (manufacturers of numerous drugs for the medical pharmaceuticals industry with a turnover in excess of £81 billion per annum), went public with some alarming statistics. In an article featured on the front page of The Independent newspaper he broke the news that, “The vast majority of drugs – more than 90 percent – only work in 30 to 50 percent of the people”. That’s a huge confession from someone who has been involved with running one of the biggest drug companies on earth.
Then, in February 2016, Mail Online published an article with the title, ‘How big pharmacy greed is killing tens of thousands around the world: Patients are over- medicated and often given profitable drugs with “little proven benefits”, leading doctors warned’. It goes on to say, “The Queen’s former doctor has called for an urgent public enquiry into drugs firms’ ‘murky’ practices”. Later in the same article there is a quote from Dr Aseem Malhotra: “There is no doubt that a ‘more medicine is better’ culture lies at the heart of healthcare, exacerbated by financial incentives within the system to prescribe more drugs and carry out more procedures”. Dr Malhorta makes three more, very relevant, comments:
- He accuses the drugs companies of ‘spending twice as much on marketing than on research’
- That ‘prescription drugs often do more harm than good, with the elderly particularly at risk’
- ‘One in three hospital admissions among the over-75s are a result of an adverse drug reaction’
I have got to thank my own doctor, Renee Kellerman, who on more than one occasion over the past 20 years has resisted putting me on a course of drugs, instead explaining the lifestyle changes I needed to make. She has always instilled in me the need for prevention over cure. Much to the disadvantage of the huge pharmaceutical conglomerates, she wants her patients to avoid at all costs any drugs that merely suppress the symptoms of conditions and diseases.
Rather than trying to address the root cause, understandably sufferers often reach without hesitation for medication. What does medication really do for us? It masks the real underlying problems and slows down our immune system’s ability to deal with them. They often tell our immune system to stop working quite so hard and pass the work over to the highly profitable chemical cocktail created by the drug company. This handing over of the responsibility - from the body’s natural repair and defence mechanism - to the scientists working for the corporate giants can have numerous harmful side effects for those that rely on certain medicines. Having said this, I fully appreciate there are certain conditions where modern medicines are totally beneficial to the sufferer. My point is more that there are many illnesses where we would be better trying to address the root cause of them first, rather than being sentenced to a life on medication.
Author Gary Taubes
We have these diabetes and obesity epidemics, and they are overwhelming our healthcare systems. The burdens to the individuals are just terrible, and they are getting the wrong advice. Doctors are giving them the wrong advice, and this just has to get fixed. And the people who buy into what we are saying, are people like ourselves who look at the research and read the books and say, ‘this is interesting, let’s see what happens’. And they change their diets and get healthier. And they do the complete opposite of what they are told to do, and they are leaner, are lighter, are healthier, have more energy and a lot of other health problems seem to vanish.
Dr Peter Brukner
When I began work with the Australian Cricket Team, we were touring in India, and one player in question was having a lot of trouble with regular knee pain to the point where at one stage, he had to stop playing.
He’d been to every doctor and specialist in Sydney, had every imaginable scan, but nobody could figure out what was wrong with him. He was eventually diagnosed with Seronegative Arthritis and prescribed Enbrel, an expensive drug that costs the taxpayer thousands every year.
It made an initial difference. The pain wasn’t completely gone, but he was able to play again, so he began injecting himself daily. Each time he felt the pain coming on, he would inject himself, and the pain would temporarily go away.
It helped him recover to the point where he was still in the Australian Squad, but not the first team.
It was reasonably well known by then that I had personally lost a lot of weight by adopting a low carb diet, and he came to me and asked if I could help him do the same. So, we began by taking him off sugar, processed food and put him on a low carb diet. Now, India isn’t the easiest place to go low carb. There was plenty of rice and naan bread on offer, and he didn’t find it easy but equally he never gave up, was remarkably conscientious and he stuck to it.
Three weeks later, he came to me and said ‘Doc, I forgot to take my Enbrel injection because I’ve had no pain in my knee, should I still take it?’. So, I told him that unless he felt any pain, to hold off, not to take it and to see how he felt.
The pain never returned. Since he’s adopted low carb, he is free from expensive prescription drugs, free from pain, allowing him to train harder than ever and just 12 months later, he was ranked in the Top 10 Batsman in the world.