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You Can Wil Your Health Battle – If You Want To
I recently found a Lewin Group press release from 2003 titled “New Study Finds Elderly Increased Use of Multivitamins Could Save Medicare $1.6 Billion”.
Excerpt from the release: “While the evidence strongly supports the beneficial effects of multivitamins in improved immune function and a reduction in the risk of heart disease, researchers also reviewed literature examining the preventive benefits of multivitamin supplementation in relation to colorectal cancer, prostate cancer, diabetes and osteoporosis …”
Think about what that might mean, especially for those in a nursing home. I doubt the residents routinely get a daily vitamin. I think one of the reasons that COVID killed so many nursing home residents was poor nutritional status. Their immune system, lacking nutrients, could not handle the virus.
Remember, this was published in 2003 and little has changed since then. The American people still primarily eat a nutritionally bankrupt fast food, out-of-a-box diet. More people take supplements to correct a nutritional deficiency, but many supplements are taken only occasionally and recommended doses are often insufficient.
For example, according to the Mayo Clinic, the recommended daily amount of vitamin C for adult men is 90 milligrams. For adult women, it is 75 milligrams with a caution against taking more. (I’ve been taking mega doses of vitamin C for decades, and as you can see, it hasn’t killed me yet.). The Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University advocates ?400 mg/day of vitamin C, but who follows the “crazy” advice? The chance of getting ?400 mg/day in most daily diets is very small. What’s the problem? It is a general hostility to adequate nutritional supplementation.
Nutrition education at medical schools is completely inadequate. In “The Status of Nutrition Education in Medical Schools,” we read: “Numerous pleas have been made over the past two decades to improve the nutrition knowledge and skills of medical students and physicians. Yet most graduating medical students continue to rate their nutrition preparation as inadequate.”
It is actually insufficient. Unless your doctor is self-taught about good nutrition, don’t ask him what to eat. He may scoff at your suggestion to take vitamins and tell you, “Just eat a good diet and you’ll be fine.” He might eat cold pizza for breakfast while driving to the office, which is a sign that he has no idea what a good diet is.
We boast that we have the best “healthcare” system in the world. Yet the term “healthcare” refers primarily to the pharmaceutical industry’s medicine, which is not “healthcare” but for-profit business. Big Phama starts a parade of expensive and often dangerous drugs, many with side effects worse than the condition being treated. That the pharmaceutical industry has the gall to advertise their products on TV (“Ask your doctor if XYZ is right for you”) is abhorrent.
In relation to the above, consider this: 34% of older adults in the US are prescribed potentially inappropriate medications. According to a new study, inappropriate medications given to older adults are linked to increased hospital admissions and cost patients an average of more than $450 per year. According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), 100,000 Americans die from reactions to prescription drugs each year, making it the fourth leading cause of death in the US
Such potentially inappropriate drugs may be prescribed by the charming doctor you love and trust so much, but he/she may know little or nothing about a new drug beyond what was learned from a salesperson (with perhaps only a high school education ), visiting offices who have memorized a script and buzzwords provided by the drug company she works for.
If you are interested in improving your nutrition and increasing your chances of a healthier and more beautiful old age, what do you do? To begin with, do the easy thing: clean up your diet. Get rid of as many refined carbohydrates as possible. Read product labels for carbohydrate content. I know how hard it is to eliminate sugar, but it is a killer. Sparingly, I use Stevia instead.
Eat: eggs, fresh fruit and vegetables, antibiotic-free and hormone-free meat and fish. Try delicious hemp hearts on your Coach’s oatmeal. (Both available at Costco). Enjoy with organic blueberries (frozen from Costco). If you haven’t tried almond milk, do it. You’ll know you’re on the right track when your supermarket shopping skips the aisles and instead focuses on the fresh fruit and veg aisle.
If you don’t take nutritional supplements and want to start, take it easy on yourself. Start with a quality daily multivitamin such as Centrum. One of my favorite resources is Life Extension magazine. If you are a beginner, don’t let articles in the magazine scare you. There is much we all need to know to help us achieve a healthy lifespan. Remember, your health is YOUR responsibility, not your doctor’s.
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