Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Americans are Over Treated

This was taken from an Associated Press Article entitled: Americans are treated, and Overtreated, to death

Americans increasingly are treated to death, spending more time in hospitals in their final days, trying last-ditch treatments that often buy only weeks of time, and racking up bills that have made medical care a leading cause of bankruptcies.

More than 80 percent of people who die in the United States have a long, progressive illness such as cancer, heart failure or Alzheimer's disease. comment; These are degenerative diseases which have links to poor nutrition and consequently can be effected positively through advanced nutritional supplementation.

More than 80 percent of such patients say they want to avoid hospitalization and intensive care when they are dying, according to the Dartmouth Atlas Project, which tracks health care trends.

Yet the numbers show that's not what is happening:

_The average time spent in hospice and palliative care, which stresses comfort and quality of life once an illness is incurable, is falling because people are starting it too late. In 2008, one-third of people who received hospice care had it for a week or less, says the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.

_Hospitalizations during the last six months of life are rising: from 1,302 per 1,000 Medicare recipients in 1996 to 1,441 in 2005, Dartmouth reports. Treating chronic illness in the last two years of life gobbles up nearly one-third of all Medicare dollars.

"People are actually now sicker as they die," and some find that treatments become a greater burden than the illness was, said Dr. Ira Byock, director of palliative care at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center . Families may push for treatment, but "there are worse things than having someone you love die," he said. comment: This is the living short, dying long concept. We prefer the living long, dying short version. We can’t think of anything worse than dying slowly from a degenerative disease. You would think people would realize the benefit of advanced does of nutritional to give then the best chance of living with a high quality of life.

Gail Sheehy, author of the "Passages" books, learned that as her husband, New York magazine founder Clay Felker, spent 17 years fighting various cancers. On New Year's Day 2007, they waited eight hours in an emergency room for yet another CT scan until Felker looked at her and said, "No more hospitals."

"I just put a cover over him and wheeled him out of there with needles still in his arms," Sheehy said.

Then she called Dr. R. Sean Morrison, president of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and a doctor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York .

"Nobody had really sat down with them about what his choices are and what the options were," said Morrison, who became his doctor.

About a year later, Felker withdrew his own feeding tube, and "it enabled us to go out and have a wonderful evening at a jazz club two nights before he died" in July 2008, Sheehy said.

Doctors can't predict how soon a patient will die, but they usually know when an illness has become incurable. Even then, many of them practice "exhaustion medicine" — treating until there are no more options left to try, said Dr. Martha Twaddle, chief medical officer of Midwest Palliative & Hospice Care Center in suburban Chicago.

A stunning number of cancer patients get aggressive care in the last days of their lives, she noted. One large study of Medicare records found that nearly 12 percent of cancer patients who died in 1999 received chemo in the last two weeks of life, up from nearly 10 percent in 1993.

Guidelines from an alliance of leading cancer centers say patients whose cancer has spread should stop getting anti-cancer medicine if sequential attempts with three different drugs fail to shrink their tumors. Yet according to IntrinsiQ, a cancer data analysis company, almost 20 percent of patients with colorectal cancer that has spread are on at least their fourth chemotherapy drug. The same goes for roughly 12 percent of patients with metastatic breast cancer, and for 12 percent of those with lung cancer. The analysis is based on more than 60,000 cancer patients.

Often, overtreating fatal illnesses happens because patients don't want to give up.

Saideh Browne said her mother, Khadija Akmal-Lamb, wanted to fight her advanced ovarian cancer even after learning it had spread to her liver. The 55-year-old Kansas City , Mo. , woman had chemo until two weeks before she died last August.

"She kept throwing up, she couldn't go to the bathroom," and her body ached, Browne said. The doctors urged hospice care and said, "your mom was stubborn," Browne recalled. "She wanted her chemo and she wanted to live."

Browne, who lives in New York , formed a women's cancer foundation in her mother's honor. She said she would encourage dying cancer patients to choose comfort care over needless medicine that prolongs suffering.

It's easier said than done.

The American way is "never giving up, hoping for a miracle," said Dr. Porter Storey, a former hospice medical director who is executive vice president of the hospice group that Morrison heads.

"We use sports metaphors and war metaphors all the time. We talk about never giving up and it's not over till the fat lady sings .... glorifying people who fought to their very last breath," when instead we should be helping them accept death as an inevitable part of life, he said.

This is especially true when deciding whether to try one of the newer, extremely expensive cancer drugs such as Avastin, Erbitux and Tarceva. Some are touted as "improving survival by 30 or 50 percent" when that actually might mean living three weeks or months longer instead of two.

"It's amazing how little benefit those studies show," Storey said, referring to research on the new drugs.

Hope is the last thing to go. People don't give that up easily.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Overall Nutrition and Health Affects the Joints has written about the damages of oxidative stress, with the creation of free radicals and subsequent inflammation, that this has on the body and in many cases the joints.

I consider my daily essential nutritional supplements to be a key component not only in my overall health, but in the health and well being in my knees. I add Glucosamine and Omega 3 Fatty Acids to my daily supplementation, however if I did not have knee pain where the Glucosamine was not necessary, I would still be taking the Omega 3 Fatty Acids for generally health and to reduce the big ratio gap between Omega 6 Fatty Acids and the necessary Omega 3's.

Click on the below link to watch a short video on the highest rated Nutritional supplements available in North America.

Nutritional Supplements for Optimal Health

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Vitamin D and Calcium Supplementation

Vitamin D is now thought to be much more necessary, in advanced doses, not only for optimum health and as protection against degenerative disease, but for joint health as well. Even though I attribute my pain free knees to pharmaceutical grade Glucosamine and Omega 3 Fatty Acids, I have also added a pharmaceutical grade Calcium and Vitamin D supplement as well. Click here to find out more about these products.

From Doctor Ray Strand,

A four year clinical was done that involved nearly 1200 women. This is the kind of study physicians love and always talk about when it comes to pharmaceutical trials. However, very few of them realize that there are these kinds of studies regarding the health benefits of taking supplements. Subjects were assigned to take 1400 mg of calcium alone, or 1400 mg of calcium plus 1100 IU of vitamin D, or a placebo. After only 4 years, the risk of developing any type of cancer was 60% lower in the vitamin D group. If you excluded the cancers diagnosed in the first year because these cancers were most likely already present before the study, there was a 77% reduction in all types of cancer in the vitamin D group.

The researchers pointed out that vitamin D has an effect on at least 200 human genes and is critical in the normal functioning of our immune system and cell division. When there is less than an optimal level of vitamin D, the regulatory process involving cell proliferation and differentiation becomes defective. This can lead to abnormal cell division and thus cancer growth. However, if individuals simply supplement their diet with 1100 IU of vitamin D, they can significantly decrease their risk of all cancers.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Toxic Contamination of Whales Means Danger for Seafood Consumers found this article from the Associated Press, 24 June 2010, which gives credence to our assertion that off the shelf Fish Oil is thought to have a higher level of contaminates and toxins than other food grade products. If you are going to consume off the shelf, food grade Fish Oil to receive your essential Omega 3 Fatty Acids, then do so at your own risk.

Sperm whales feeding even in the most remote reaches of Earth's oceans have built up stunningly high levels of toxic and heavy metals, according to American scientists who say the findings spell danger not only for marine life but for the millions of humans who depend on seafood.

A report released Thursday noted high levels of cadmium, aluminum, chromium, lead, silver, mercury and titanium in tissue samples taken by dart gun from nearly 1,000 whales over five years. From polar areas to equatorial waters, the whales ingested pollutants that may have been produced by humans thousands of miles away, the researchers said.

"These contaminants, I think, are threatening the human food supply. They certainly are threatening the whales and the other animals that live in the ocean," said biologist Roger Payne, founder and president of Ocean Alliance, the research and conservation group that produced the report.

The researchers found mercury as high as 16 parts per million in the whales. Fish high in mercury such as shark and swordfish — the types health experts warn children and pregnant women to avoid — typically have levels of about 1 part per million.

The whales studied averaged 2.4 parts of mercury per million, but the report's authors said their internal organs probably had much higher levels than the skin samples contained.

"The entire ocean life is just loaded with a series of contaminants, most of which have been released by human beings," Payne said in an interview on the sidelines of the International Whaling Commission's annual meeting.

Payne said sperm whales, which occupy the top of the food chain, absorb the contaminants and pass them on to the next generation when a female nurses her calf. "What she's actually doing is dumping her lifetime accumulation of that fat-soluble stuff into her baby," he said, and each generation passes on more to the next.
Ultimately, he said, the contaminants could jeopardize seafood, a primary source of animal protein for 1 billion people.

"You could make a fairly tight argument to say that it is the single greatest health threat that has ever faced the human species. I suspect this will shorten lives, if it turns out that this is what's going on," he said.
After more than five years and 87,000 miles, samples had been taken from 955 whales. The samples were sent for analysis to marine toxicologist John Wise at the University of Southern Maine. DNA was compared to ensure the animals were not tested more than once.

Payne said the original objective of the voyage was to measure chemicals known as persistent organic pollutants, and the study of metals was an afterthought.
The researchers were stunned with the results. "That's where the shocking, sort of jaw-dropping concentrations exist," Payne said.

Though it was impossible to know where the whales had been, Payne said the contamination was embedded in the blubber of males formed in the frigid polar regions, indicating that the animals had ingested the metals far from where they were emitted.

"When you're working with a synthetic chemical which never existed in nature before and you find it in a whale which came from the Arctic or Antarctic, it tells you that was made by people and it got into the whale," he said.

How that happened is unclear, but the contaminants likely were carried by wind or ocean currents, or were eaten by the sperm whales' prey

Chromium, an industrial pollutant that causes cancer in humans, was found in all but two of the 361 sperm whale samples that were tested for it. Those findings were published last year in the scientific journal Chemosphere. The corrosion-resistant metal is used in stainless steel, paints, dyes and the tanning of leather. It can cause lung cancer in people who work in industries where it is commonly used, and was the focus of the California environmental lawsuit that gained fame in the movie "Erin Brockovich."

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Coffee - Mysterious Benefits of Coffee Mount

From time to time will publish an article on health and nutrition issues that do not necessary affect Joint Health or Chronic Knee Pain. This is once such article and was taken from and gives some good insight to possible general health benefits of coffee.

From lowered cancer risks to a sharper memory, more studies are showing that coffee is good for you - but why?

Regular coffee drinkers have a 39 percent decreased risk of head and neck cancer, according to a new study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention. Those who drank an estimated four or more cups a day had significantly fewer cancers of the mouth and throat than non coffee drinkers, the study found.

"Coffee contains more than a thousand chemicals, some of which have antioxidant and antimutagenic activities," Mia Hashibe, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Utah and the study's lead researcher, told Life's Little Mysteries. "Further research is necessary to identify which ingredients in coffee are responsible for the results we observed in our study."

Scientists are still trying to determine exactly what it is about coffee that gives it its disease-fighting properties, but recent research is getting closer to unlocking the mysterious power behind the energizing brew.

Coffee may be good for the brain, too. A study earlier this year by neuroscientists at the University of Lisbon showed that drinking coffee can help to prevent the neural degeneration associated with brain disorders and aging. The scientists found that drinking up to four cups of coffee a day over a long period of time actually prevented the deterioration of memory.

Other research has shown that coffee is good for the cardiovascular system. Women who drank one to three cups of java a day reduced their risk of cardiovascular disease by 24 percent, according to the Iowa Women's Health Study that tracked 27,000 women for 15 years, although it was noted that this benefit diminished as the quantity of coffee rose above three cups.

And while coffee has been given a bad rap for supposedly upping the risk of stroke and coronary heart disease, scientific studies have revealed the contrary. Drinking coffee lowers the risk of stroke by 19 percent among women, according to a 2009 Harvard Medical School study that tracked the coffee habits and stroke occurrences among 83,000 American women for nearly a quarter century.

The risk of some cancers may be cut by drinking coffee. Research presented at the 2009 American Association for Cancer Research Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research Conference showed that coffee cut male coffee drinkers' risk of aggressive prostate cancer by 60 percent, based on a 20-year study of 50,000 men.

And people who drink coffee reduce their risk of developing liver cancer by 41 percent, compared to people who never drink coffee, according to a study in the journal Hepatology. The researchers theorized that compounds found in coffee may block the action of enzymes involved in detoxifying carcinogenic compounds that may lead to liver cancer, the third largest cause of cancer deaths around the world, after lung and stomach cancer.

Other recent studies have shown that coffee is protective against certain brain tumors, endometrial cancer and advanced prostate cancer, Hashibe said.

While it is true that some of the chemicals present in a cup of coffee may be gastrointestinal irritants, coffee is not as much of a cause of heartburn and acid reflux as previously believed. Scientists have actually identified a chemical in coffee, called N-methylpyridinium, which inhibits acid production. The compound is more common in dark roasts like espresso and French roast blends, according to the Research Platform of Molecular Food Science at the University of Vienna.

But not all of the chemicals found in coffee are good for you. It's been blasted for containing pesticides and dangerous chemicals.

A typical cup of coffee contains about 10 milligrams of known carcinogens, such as benzene and formaldehyde, according to McGill University chemistry professor Joe Schwarcz, writing in "The Fly in the Ointment: 70 Fascinating Commentaries on the Science of Everyday Life" (Ecw Press, 2004). However, other experts argue that these trace amounts are too small to pose a serious cancer risk, and point to studies showing that coffee reduces the risk of several cancers.

In fact, for most adults, coffee is the number one source of antioxidants, or chemicals that prevent cellular damage, according to a study funded by the American Cocoa Research Institute.

"Americans get more of their antioxidants from coffee than any other dietary source," said Joe Vinson, lead author of a study on antioxidants conducted by the University of Scranton , in Pennsylvania . "Nothing else comes close." comment: This is a shame. People need to supplement their daily diets with advanced doses of nutrients, preferable from Pharmaceutical grade sources. Only with ensuring your bodies nutrient needs are met can you be sure you are doing everything you can on a nutritional aspect to prevent degenerative disease.

While antioxidants help to reduce cell damage and aging, scientists have yet to determine if they are the compounds responsible for coffee's weird -but wonderful- health benefits.

There are many organic and inorganic compounds in a regular cup of coffee, including chemicals called phenolic compounds, melanoidins, and diterpenes. Some of these chemicals are believed to be beneficial, such as chlorogenic acid, which is a natural compound found in coffee beans and other plants that is an antioxidant and believed to aid in digestion, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

"Coffee is a very complex mixture of various chemicals," Hashibe said. Researchers are still trying to track down exactly what it is that makes coffee so mysteriously beneficial, but it's antioxidant components may be part of its protective effects against cancer.

But because coffee contains caffeine, which is a stimulant, drinking too much of it could lead to headaches, jitters and a racing heartbeat. Even decaffeinated coffee contains at least trace amounts of the drug, as the decaffeinating process cannot remove caffeine completely.

The safe daily dosage of caffeine is 300 milligrams for adults and 35 to 40 milligrams a day for children, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS). While caffeine was once considered unsafe for women to consume while pregnant, the HHS has determined that mothers-to-be who drink less than 300 milligrams of caffeine a day do not put their child in any risk.

However, the HHS warns that women who drink or eat more than 300 milligrams of caffeine per day may have a harder time getting pregnant, and a study by the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research found that high doses of daily caffeine - two or more cups of regular coffee or five 12-ounce cans of caffeinated soda - during pregnancy may increase the risk of miscarriage.

"Each individual metabolizes caffeine and the other components of coffee differently," Hashibe said, so broad recommendations for everyone aren't possible. Coffee can increase heart rate, blood pressure, and affect sleep, but do each of these things differently in different people.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Reader Question on Omega 3 Fatty Acids received a reader contact from Shirley in North Carolina.

"I take Fish Oil gel tablets for three months now, and have not yet received any reduction in my knee pain."

Well, Shirley although Fish Oil has high levels of Omega 3 Fatty Acids there is no way of telling how much and what quantity you are taking with off the shelf, food grade products. Additionally, without the guaranteed quality, free of toxins that you would get from a pharmaceutical grade product, you risk mercury and other toxins with food grade Fish Oil products.

From "In spite of the health benefits provided by omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oils, people are decreasing fish in their diets due to high levels of mercury found in some fish. Elevated levels of Mercury, a toxin affecting cognitive development in unborn children, is being found in many species of fish raising health concerns from eating mercury laden fish."

Keep in mind that Omega 3 Fatty Acids aren't necessarily a targeted product for your joint pain. Omega 3's work by balancing out the Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratios therefore thought to keep inflammation reduced which can affect your knees.

I take a pharmaceutical grade Glucosamine product called Procosa II, which is listed on page 3476 of the Physicians Desk Reference 2010 edition. I also take a pharmaceutical grade Omega 3 product, called Bi-Omega, to enhance what the Procosa II does for me, by helping to reduce inflammation. I have no other reason to explain the great reduction in my knee pain. Although I have your e-mail, I will not send anything unsolicited nor give your address to anyone. If you want more information on the products I take, then please fill out the form to the right.

Good luck and be careful on the off the shelf fish oil.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Health Care Crisis - Shortage of Doctors

The Wall Street Journal (Wall Street Journal On-line Report) reports that The new federal health-care law has raised the stakes for hospitals and schools already scrambling to train more doctors.

Experts warn there won't be enough doctors to treat the millions of people newly insured under the law. At current graduation and training rates, the nation could face a shortage of as many as 150,000 doctors in the next 15 years, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.

That shortfall is predicted despite a push by teaching hospitals and medical schools to boost the number of U.S. doctors, which now totals about 954,000.

The greatest demand will be for primary-care physicians. These general practitioners, internists, family physicians and pediatricians will have a larger role under the new law, coordinating care for each patient.

The U.S. has 352,908 primary-care doctors now, and the college association estimates that 45,000 more will be needed by 2020. But the number of medical-school students entering family medicine fell more than a quarter between 2002 and 2007.

A shortage of primary-care and other physicians could mean more-limited access to health care and longer wait times for patients. thinks that the shortage of Doctors isn't necessary such a bad omen across the board. It should force people to take a more proactive approach to their health, becoming their own primary physicians - after all Doctors are mostly "Disease Care Professionals" rather than "Health Care oriented". There are certainly major medical problems that only Doctors and their access to diagnostics
and drugs can treat. However, we should do all we can do, beginning with education, to limit our need to see Doctors. It includes a healthy lifestyle and nutrition.

Another good site to visit for health related and home remedies topics are:

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Reader Question on Glucosamine received this question from a reader:

"Can u tell me why you think your product is better than the Life Extension Glucosamine and Chondroitin I am taking? It has more ingredients and it probably cheaper than your product."

I am aware of the The Life Extension product you are taking. Life Extension's multi-supplement are actually rated in the Comparative Guide and I'm sure they are a fine company and with good products, however they are not pharmaceutical grade. So you have no third party verification of the potency, purity and dissolution of the products.

The Life Extension Glucosamine/Chondriotin Capsules, come 100 capsules in a bottle. The scientists I have talked to or read from cannot prove Chondroitin in a supplement form helps with joints. However there are many studies on Glucosamine. Like I say "proof is in the pudding", I'll never be without the formulation of Glucosamine I take called Procosa II. What you are taking requires five tablets (400 mg of Glucosamine per) a day to obtain the Glucosamine dose I get in four tablets (500 mg per) of Procosa II, without considering the quality difference.

The product you are taking cost $38 retail or $28.50 for the member price. My retail customers pay $28.79, $26.66 wholesale (member price) or $23.99 on autoship (product arrives ever 28 days) so we are actually a more economically product.

And like I had written before, I took off the shelf Glucosamine for almost twenty years without relief. It wasn't until I tried a Pharmaceutical grade Glucosamine that I found knee pain relief.

If your product works for you then I'd stick with it, however I have a feeling it doesn't since you wrote me. Good luck to you.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

More Information on Omega 3 Fatty Acids

This is important since inflammation is a major cause of chronic joint pain especially in the knees.

From Doctor Ray Strand:

These Swiss investigators reviewed 97 randomized, controlled clinical trials, which involved over 275,000 subjects. They looked at comparing the reduction in cardiovascular deaths between individuals who were taking the lipid lowering drugs called statins, those who consumed higher doses of omega-3 fatty acids, and a controlled group or placebo group. The statin group reduced cardiovascular deaths by 22%, while the omega-3 fatty acid group decreased cardiovascular disease by 32%. Statin drugs reduced overall mortality by 13%; however, the omega-3 fatty acid group reduced overall mortality by 23%. These were significant findings and brought up the fact that supplementing your diet with high-quality omega-3 fatty acids from pharmaceutical-grade filtered fish oil was more effective than the expensive statin drugs when it came to cardiovascular death and overall mortality.

Now statin drugs have been shown to decrease inflammation and part of their clinical effectiveness is due to this aspect of these drugs. So researchers are not sure if it is the lowering of cholesterol or the anti-inflammatory aspect of these drugs that provide their health benefits. However, omega-3 fats are the building blocks of the body’s natural anti-inflammatories. In fact, supplemental intake of the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA found in filtered fish oil has been shown to significantly decrease inflammation throughout the body, including our arteries. They also do not have the adverse side effects that the statin drugs have.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Do You Take Acetaminophen for Chronic Joint Pain?

If you take Acetaminophen for chronic joint pain, like I did for years because my bad knees until I got smarter, then you need to read this:

Each year Acetaminophen, widely known by one of it's brand name's Tylenol, results in 100,000+ calls to Poison Control Centers, 56,000 emergency room visits, 26,000 hospitilizations and more than 450 deaths from liver failure.

Many researchers believe that regular users of Acetaminophen double the risk their kidney cancer. The incidents of kidney cancer in the United States has risen 126% in the last 60 years. Even if Acetaminophen is responsible for even a small number of kidney cancers, the risks outweight the benefits of taking Acetaminophen for chronic joint pain.

Acetaminophen is the major metabolite of the banned drug, Phenacetin, which was banned because of it's severe toxicity to kidney and dangers to the bladder.

MyAchingKnees believes, due not only to personal experience, but to various opinions from medical periodicals and medical research that large doses of OTC pain killers are needed to relieve most chronic joint pain. All OTC analgesics have side effects,.......for instance, Ibuprofen or Celebrex are associated with heart attacks and stomach bleeding, so why would you take excessive does of it?

We believe that the prudent person (and Physician) first tries treatments that are much less dangerous, such as Chiropractic care, physical therapy, massage therapy, heat therapy, and supplementation such as Glucosamine, Omega 3 Fatty Acids, Methylsulphonylmethane MSM) or other non prescription drug solutions either by themselves or in combination.

I have found incredible relief to my chronic knee pain through using pharmaceutical grade Glucosamine and Omega 3 Fatty Acids. Click here to find out more.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Charlie E's Chronic Knee Pain

The other day, without planning to shoot any video, I ran into Charlie E., and we used his video camera to shoot a short segment on the success that Charlie is having in reducing his chronic knee pain with what he credits to taking the pharmaceutical grade Glucosamine (Procosa II) and Omega 3 Fatty Acids (Bi-Omega) supplements.

If you are interested in looking into Pharmaceutical Grade Glucosamine and Omega 3 Fatty Acids, click here: Chronic Knee Pain

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Omega 3 Fatty Acids - More Than Just for Joint Pain has long be a fan of adding Omega 3 Fatty Acids supplements along with Glucosamine to aid in a reduction of chronic knee pain caused by degenerative joints. Of course, we advocate both supplements need to be pharmaceutical grade, even more important when faced with an Omega 3 Fatty Acid from Fish Oil, as fish are believed to have a higher chance of toxins (primarily mercury) than other supplements.

We have also talked about how Omega 3 Fatty Acids supplementation can balance the Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratios in our bodies and help reduce inflammation and possibly joint pain.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids have also been linked in numerous studies to better brain and eye development in babies and toddlers. I have several clients who have children between the ages of 5 and 12 who were thought to be ADHD/ADD and who did much better after being put on a daily mineral and anti-oxidant supplement AND an Omega 3 supplement.

For a link to an excellent Q and A article with John Cuomo, Ph.D., a nutritional scientist, click here.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Phillip and Iris – A misplaced faith in "Health" Juice

I have a couple who are acquaintances of mine. In their early 50’s, they have all the small problems that people in this age group have with the wear and tear on their bodies, particular their joints. They also have some additional concerns as each one of them, but more so Iris, are laid up sick in what seems to be several days at a time every few months.

I have given them Doctor Ray Strand’s excellent book, “What Doctor’s Don’t Know About Nutritional Medicine May Be Killing You”, and have approached them on several occasions about the possibilities of doing something different since what they are doing to develop and encourage a healthy lifestyle just ain’t working. Some of the conversations go like this:

Me – “Hey Phil, sorry to hear about Iris being sick, is she?”

Phillip – “Oh, she’ll be okay, she always get’s sick every few weeks.”

Me – “Have you finished reading Doctor’s Strand book about how Nutrition affects our health?”

Phillip – “Yeah, I looked through it, but that’s stuff we know already and we’re taking health supplements.”

Me – “Really?” “What are you taking?”

Phillip – “We’re drinking this (name deleted) juice that restores your health and we add Vitamin E and Vitamin C. The juice is great, gives us anti-oxidants.”

Me – “Yeah, that’s what they say. Actually the measurement for anti-oxidants in a given product is called the ORAC score, for Oxygenated Radical Absorption Capacity.”

Phillip – “Hey, how do you know about ORAC? That's the reason this juice is great, it has a high ORAC score.”

Me – “Well, I make it my business as it is my business, specifically my partnership with a Health Sciences company that manufactures pharmaceutical grade supplements. Did you know that your juice has a ORAC score around 600 from the literature I saw (actually the document came from an independent laboratory and stated that the three most popular “health” juices had ORAC scores between 500 and 700). Did you also know that 100% Grape Juice has an ORAC score of 800, if you can get past the sugary taste,..and that a good quality red wine has an ORAC score of around 1,100?”

Phillip – “Well don’t know about that, but we like the juice and it is doing us some good.”

Me – “Yeah, I can see that.”

Phillip also told me that the juice absorbs better in the stomach because it is a liquid - which has no basis in fact. In fact, nutrients are absorbed in the intestines after the stomach breaks them down. Phillip’s mistake is that he has limited his research and is abiding by unproven claims that the juice provides rejuvenated health, but he is, more importantly, not following the quality assurance piece of the equation where he truly evaluates if the juice (I call it Jungle Juice) has helped them. In this case, the juice is obviously not helping if they are bed ridden days out of each month. He also doesn’t understand that if supplementation is necessary, then it makes sense to get supplementation across the board in the amounts and ratios to provide a synergistic effect for this body and therefore his health, and not piecemeal your supplements.

What a life Phillip and Iris have. I'm glad it's not mine. Again, the bottom line is let the buyer beware.