I have long said that you would need no supplements IF you lived on an organic farm and raised all your own food, with no pesticides or herbicides, no exposure to the toxins of the world, etc. Of course for the past 100+ years a vast majority of individuals have not enjoyed that life-style. Rodale, the founder of ORGANIC GARDENING and PREVENTION, was, of course, ridiculed by THE ESTABLISHMENT, as was Rachel Carson. Indeed, the ”Intellengtia” has rejected most common-sense health enthusiasts. And the band plays on. Drugs have replaced common sense for most physicians and the public. The food industry and government have been equally guilty of experimenting on millions of people by allowing food companies to prostitute food, such as ”artificial” hardening, calling white dead flour ”enriched”, encouraging the use of chemical poisons, etc. At least since World War II, Americans have lost access to most real food. Campbell’s soup and fast food restaurants have polluted what might have been near-real food with MSG and who knows what other stupid and dangerous chemical additives. In the 70’s Ross Hume-Hall, in FOOD FOR NOUGHT, emphasized the lack of real food in many products that are deceptively labeled, such as ”chocolate flavored”, which may contain nothing but chemical concoctions. Much of the ”tomato” sauce used in many pizzas has never seen a tomato plant—it is more chemical soup. And ”pop” (one of the greatest non-foods of all time) has replaced water, milk, and juice as the most imbibed beverage.Physicians have been particularly guilty in rejecting the obvious common sense of the need for real food. And yet, there are literally thousands of scientific articles attesting to the benefits of real food. In one sense, every food originates from plants, as fish and animals convert plant material to flesh. So it is something of an oxymoron to call only certain materials phytonutrients and even more odd that we now have nutraceuticals. Interestingly, neither term has made the PDR Medical Dictionary. The internet provides the following:

  • A phytochemical with proven health promoting properties. Vitamins and carotenoids such as lycopene, phytoene and phytofluene are phytonutrients.
  • Nutritionally-important compounds found only in plants.
  • Phytochemicals are sometimes referred to as phytonutrients and these terms are often used interchangeably. Most broadly defined, they could be said to be any chemical or nutrient derived from a plant source. However, in common usage they have a more limited definition. They are usually used to refer to compounds found in plants which are not required for normal functioning of the body but which nonetheless have a beneficial effect on health or an active role in the amelioration of disease.
  • The term was coined in the 1990s by Dr. Stephen DeFelice, who defined it as ”any substance that is a food or a part of a food and provides medical or health benefits, including the prevention and treatment of disease. Such products may range from isolated nutrients, dietary supplements, and specific diets to genetically engineered designer foods, herbal products, and processed foods such as cereals, soups and beverages.” Since the term was coined, its meaning has been modified. Health Canada defines nutraceutical as ”a product isolated or purified from foods, and generally sold in medicinal forms…
  • Nutraceutical – noun {C} (ALSO functional food). a food to which vitamins, minerals or drugs have been added to make them healthier. Dictionary Definition by freesearch

PubMed lists 72 articles under phytonutrients and 23 under phytonutrients. There are 197 under nutraceutical; 1392 for beta sitosterol; 105 for policosanol, etc. So for each subcategory, there are often many scientific papers. I have summarized some of this material in earlier newsletters on beta sitosterol and policosanol. Personally, I often find the literature on these substances far more convincing than those on drugs. For instance in the JAMA, September 28,2005 ”Dietary Phytoestrogens and Lung cancer Risk (P. 1493-1504), with 74 references, the authors concludes —”these data further support -the limited but growing epidemiological evidence that phytoestrogens are associated with a decrease in risk of lung cancer.” Indeed, up to a 50% reduction!! That is big news! Bigger than any known medical or surgical treatment for this disease.

Recent evidence that eating pomegranate markedly reduces the incidence of prostate cancer and prolongs life in those with prostate cancer has been similarly downplayed. Perhaps the greatest evidence is in atherosclerosis, heart disease and death from coronary artery disease. Cholesterol levels can be better and safer maintained with certain foods and phytonutrients than with any drug. Reduction in death from heart disease is at least as great—and with virtually no risk. Alzheimer’s Disease, cognition, many forms of cancer, especially of the colon are far better treated and prevented with optimal nutrition. Omega-3 fatty acids, soluble fibers and phytosterols (such as beta sitosterol complex) explain 84% of the variables for the major dietary influence on coronary artery disease and blood lipid levels (Am J Clin Nutr, 2005, 82: 32-40). Reduction of coronary artery deaths of 25% from taking beta sitosterol compare more than favorable with statin drugs, without the risks! (Ann Clin Biochem, 2005, 42: 254-253.) Mixed fruit and vegetable juice concentrates increase serum antioxidants and folate (J Am Coll Nutr, 2004, 23: 205-211).

Growing conditions and varieties of plants vary tremendously, influencing the quality of their health benefits. (J Agri Food Chem, 2000, 48: 4723-4727). Ross Hume-Hall was, of course, RIGHT!

Statins suck! In 14 heart-healthy patients placed on statins for elevated cholesterol, 10 developed heart conduction abnormalities (Am J Cardiol, 2004, 94: 1306-1310 within 12 to 24 weeks. I predict someday, they will provide us another Thalidomide or Premarin scandal!

Eat your vegetables and fruits, organic if possible. If that alone is not adequate there are plenty of safer nutraceuticals that will work. Explore every one of them before you give in to the PharmacoMafia!

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