October 27, 2011
By Andrew W. Saul, PhD
Cavities and gum diseases are not often regarded as serious diseases, yet they are epidemic throughout our society, from the youngest of children to the oldest of senior citizens. Research more than suggests that the same good nutrition that prevents cavities and gum diseases may also prevent other illnesses.
Dental caries and gum pathology are frequently associated with serious chronic health problems. Multiple independent studies published after 1990 document this. Cavities are associated with poor mental health [1-4]. Elderly individuals with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease had an average of 7.8 teeth with fillings vs. an average of only 2.7 fillings for elderly individuals without dementia . It is likely that the toxic heavy metal mercury, which makes up half of every amalgam filling, is a contributing factor.
A recent authoritative review showed a clear association between cavities and heart diseases . More importantly, this same study showed that people with poor oral health, on average, lead shorter lives. The association between cavities and diabetes is also a subject of active, ongoing research [6-8]. Connections between heart disease, diabetes, and dental decay have been suspected for decades. Many of the scientists who called attention to this have proposed that diets high in sugar and refined carbohydrates were the common cause of these diseases [9-15].
Dental diseases, mental diseases, heart disease, infectious respiratory diseases, and heart disease are all at least partially caused by common failures in metabolism. Such failures are inevitable when there is a deficiency of essential nutrients, particularly vitamins D, C, and niacin.
There is especially strong evidence for a relationship between vitamin D deficiency and cavities. Dozens of studies were conducted in the 1930′s and 1940′s [16-27]. More than 90% of the studies concluded that supplementing children with vitamin D prevents cavities. Particularly impressive was a study published in 1941 demonstrated the preventative affect of “massive” doses of vitamin D . And yet no subsequent studies in the scientific literature suggested a need to follow up and repeat this work.
March 30, 2010
By Mike Adams
The utter worthlessness of Big Pharma’s cholesterol drugs was demonstrated recently by a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine which showed that niacin (a low-cost B vitamin) out-performs Merck’s drug Zetia for preventing the build-up of arterial plaque, a symptom of cardiovascular disease.
As the study reveals, Zetia failed miserably. Patients taking niacin showed a “significant shrinkage” in artery wall thickness, while those on Zetia showed no such improvement. At the same time, the rate of “cardiovascular events” in the niacin group was only one-fifth that in the Zetia group, demonstrating that niacin is far more effective at preventing heart attacks and other similar events than Zetia.
But curiously, as soon as niacin started to show a real benefit over Zetia, researchers cancelled the study. The premature ending of the clinical trial stopped the process by which even more useful information about the benefits of niacin might have been learned.
5,800% higher price than niacin
Merck, the maker of Zetia, was likely horrified to learn that a low-cost B vitamin out-performed its blockbuster drug. Sales of its Zetia drug are reportedly over $5 billion. It’s no wonder: Zetia sells for as much as $3.89 per pill.
Niacin, on the other hand, costs as little as 6.7 cents per pill, even in a “no-flush” time-release formula from a quality source like the NSI brand from Vitacost: http://www.vitacost.com/NSI-No-Flus…
These price differences make Zetia 5,800% more expensive than niacin. And yet niacin works better.
So if niacin works better, and if modern medicine claims to be serving patients instead of profits, why don’t doctors recommend B vitamins instead of expensive cholesterol drugs? As you have already guessed, the reason is because Zetia earns all kinds of ridiculous profits for Big Pharma and B vitamins don’t.
The fact that doctors continue to prescribe Zetia, in fact, demonstrates how thoroughly our modern medical system has failed to recognize and embrace things that work to help patients rather than things that make the most money for powerful drug companies. If our modern system were actually based on what works, doctors would be prescribing various vitamins, minerals, herbs, superfoods and nutritional supplements (including anti-cancer mushroms).
But no… our system isn’t based on what helps patients. It’s based on what makes the most money, and so patients are put on dangerous (even deadly) pharmaceuticals that can cost 5,800% more than low-cost natural remedies that actually work better!
The big question: Does modern medicine help society at all?
It really makes you wonder: Beyond emergency treatments and critical care, does modern medicine offer any net benefit to society at all? More and more people are now coming to the conclusion that no, modern medicine harms far more people than it helps.
The key question to ask is this: What if our medical system disappeared tomorrow? Would we be better off or worse off?
The startling (but true) answer is that we would be better off. Without cancer screening, for example, breast cancer rates would plummet (because screening causes cancer). Without cholesterol drugs, blood pressure drugs, diabetes drugs and chemotherapy, people would live far longer, with less liver damage, kidney damage and brain damage.
In all, pharmaceuticals do not save lives. They destroy lives while making huge profits for drug companies. And yet much of western medicine is based on the administration of these dangerous, over-priced chemicals.
There’s a fascinating book entitled What if Medicine Disappeared? by Gerald Markle and Frances McCrea. (http://www.amazon.com/What-Medicine…)
This book explains why modern medicine does far more harm than good. It doesn’t explain, however, why doctors who think they’re so smart continue to prescribe a patented medication that’s 5,800% more expensive than a nutritional solution that works better.
February 3, 2010
By E. Huff
A recent study found that niacin, a form of vitamin B, is far more beneficial to heart patients with high cholesterol than is the popular cholesterol drug Zetia. Dr. Anthony DeMaria, a leading cardiologist and editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology stated that the findings will eliminate Zetia from the preferred treatment options list.
Though Zetia is touted as being highly effective at reducing the levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), often called “bad cholesterol”, niacin is much more effective at boosting the levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), commonly termed “good cholesterol”.
Evidence reveals that niacin significantly reduces plaque buildup on arterial walls, improving blood supply to the brain, while Zetia, also known generically as ezetimibe, can slightly increase arterial plaque buildup. For this reasons, doctors and experts agree that niacin is the preferred choice in maintaining proper cholesterol levels and a healthy heart.
In addition to being more effective, niacin is also a much more affordable option. Though the trial utilized a time-released prescription form of niacin, quality niacin supplements are available over the counter that work equally as well if not better than the prescription form.
Zetia is often prescribed to lower bad cholesterol and maintain heart health, yet its track record seems to indicate the opposite effect for some. Out of the 208 participants who engaged in the study, nine of the patients on Zetia experienced heart attacks, stroke, or they died from heart disease. Only two on niacin bore such an outcome.
Dr. Jim Stein of the University of Wisconsin was one of several who emphasized over-prescription of Zetia, stating that doctors fail to practice evidence-based medicine when using the drug. He recommends utilizing safer, more effective alternatives like niacin that are proven to reduce incidences of heart attack, stroke, and death.
Studies consistently show that therapeutic doses of niacin alone can raise HDL levels by up to 35 percent and lower LDL levels by 20 percent. When incorporated into a well-balanced diet with regular exercise, the benefits increase even more. Proper diet and exercise will actually cause arterial plaque to dissipate over time, unlike statin drugs which have never been proven to break up arterial plaque.
Niacin is naturally found in dairy products, lean meats, fish and poultry, nuts, eggs, and whole-grain or sprouted breads. Diets rich in plant-based sterols, soluble fiber, and balanced sources of omega-3 and omega-6 oils will also contribute significantly to maintaining proper cholesterol levels and a healthy heart.
November 17, 2009
By Peggy Peck
Results reported here Sunday may not put the nail in the coffin for a once wildly popular cholesterol-lowering drug, but they do put Zetia at the bottom of the list of medications that doctors will be using.
So said Dr. Anthony DeMaria, a leading cardiologist who is also the editor in chief of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
He was referring to the results of a study that compared niacin — a form of vitamin B — to Zetia in high-risk patients who need more than a drug like Lipitor or Crestor to control their cholesterol.
The niacin used in the study is not variety available in health food stores and drug stores. It is a prescription product that has a special timed-release formulation, which may cut down on the hot flashes that are associated with niacin use.
Zetia, known generically as ezetimibe, is highly effective at reducing LDL, the so-called bad cholesterol. But niacin boosts HDL, or good cholesterol.
In the study reported at the American Heart Association meeting here — and published online by the New England Journal of Medicine — good trumped bad.
Niacin had a beneficial effect on the plaque buildup in the walls of the arteries that supply blood to the brain, but despite the fact that Zetia reduced LDL by almost 20 percent in patients who already had LDL cholesterol levels of less than 100 mg/dL, patients taking the drug had a slight worsening of the plaque build-up.
“This trial doesn’t quite put the nail in the coffin for ezetimibe, but it pushes it way down on the list of medications for cholesterol-lowering therapy,” DeMaria said.
Moreover, nine patients in the Zetia arm had heart attacks, stroke, or died from heart disease, versus just two patients taking niacin.
“Niacin had a superior effect on the artery wall,” said Dr. Allan Taylor, a cardiologist at Walter Reed Army Medical Center who headed the study. “The take-home message is clear: niacin should be the choice when considering an add-on therapy.”
Taylor pulled no punches at a press conference to discuss the results, pressing the point that at time when the nation is watching the bottom line on healthcare costs, it’s time to switch to niacin — which even in the branded formulation called Niaspan, which was used in the trial, is cheaper than Zetia. Noting that in 2008, 9 million Americans were taking Zetia versus just 2.5 who were taking niacin, Taylor said that switching would reap big potential savings as well as better outcomes.
Yet, Taylor’s position was questioned by reporters who noted that he disclosed receiving more than $10,000 in lecture fees from Abbott, which makes Niaspan.