Today we’ll be tackling one of the most confounding and troubling trends in modern medicine. Scientific studies have confirmed again and again that for many ailments and conditions, dietary changes can bring relief and offer protection against negative health outcomes.
Instead of helping patients make these changes, doctors reach for their prescription pads. Pharmaceutical interventions are often no more effective than dietary interventions, but unlike eating healthy food, prescription drugs come with negative side effects.
We’ll look at two clear examples of this troubling pattern and what you should look out for.
Statins VS Mediterranean Diet For Cardiovascular Disease
Cardiovascular disease is an umbrella term that includes diseases and conditions affecting the heart and blood vessels. High blood pressure, hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), blood clots (thrombosis), stroke, and heart attack are all potential outcomes of a decline in cardiovascular health.
An Italian study of people with a history of cardiovascular disease found that those who ate a Mediterranean diet were the least likely to have died from any cause. The Mediterranean diet consists of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, seafood, and healthy fats, with minimal or no red meat and processed foods. The researchers assigned each participant a score based on how closely they adhered to the Mediterranean Diet. 1
They then compared the lifespans of participants with different scores. They found that an increase in the adherence score by two points was associated with a 21% reduced risk of death, while a three-point score increase was associated with a 37% reduced risk of death.1
These results controlled for other factors including age, sex, physical activity, smoking, and several other diseases. That helps to isolate diet as the factor for reducing the risk of death.
As a result, we can credit the Mediterranean Diet with a 21 to 37 percent reduction in the risk of early death among people with cardiovascular conditions.
Let’s compare that to the efficacy of drugs commonly prescribed to combat cardiovascular disease: statins.
A study with 90,056 participants found that taking statins reduced the risk of death from any cause by 12%. That’s less than half as effective as adhering to a Mediterranean diet. Another study found that for a population at high risk of cardiovascular disease, 3.7 years of preventative statin therapy had no benefit on all-cause mortality. To make matters worse, statins can cause a variety of side effects.2
One study found that women who took statins were 48% more likely to develop diabetes than women who did not.3 Another study found that statin users have a 34% higher risk of developing cataracts, which can cause low vision and blindness.4 Other statin side effects include:5
- Liver damage
- Memory loss
- Muscle pain experienced as tiredness, soreness, or weakness
- Rhabdomyolysis, rapid muscle tissue breakdown
Eating a Mediterranean Diet has wide ranging positive impacts on health, and was shown more effective than statins at preventing early death. Meanwhile, statins come with a list of undesirable, and possibly life-altering side effects.
The Mediterranean Diet was found to reduce the risk of early death by up to 37% among people with a history of cardiovascular disease. Statins, drugs prescribed to lower cholesterol levels, were found to be less effective at 12% risk reduction for all-cause mortality. An improved diet offers additional benefits, while statins have a list of negative side effects, including an increased risk of diabetes, cataracts, and neurological problems.
Osteoporosis Drugs VS pH-Balanced Diet For Bone Loss
One of the best-documented causes of bone loss is acidosis— a state in which the pH levels in the blood are too acidic.6
The systemic regulation of a specific and stable pH (the measure of acid-base balance) is necessary for survival. Low-grade system-wide acidosis has been linked to conditions such as insulin resistance, diabetes, hypertension, chronic kidney disease, low muscle mass, and boss loss.7
One of the primary determinants of acid-base balance is diet. Diets high in foods that are acid precursors contribute to acidosis, while diets high in base precursors alkalize the pH-balance.
If dietary sources don’t provide enough alkalizing base precursors, the body extracts the necessary alkalizing minerals from bone.
Consequently, a pH-balanced diet can prevent the body from having to resorb bone.
Studies have found that acidosis has compounding impacts on bone development, including inhibition of osteoblast activity, which results in reduced bone formation, and an increase in osteoclast activity, which results in increased bone resorption.7
These findings show how diet plays a definitive role in bone health. It follows that an adjustment to diet can protect and improve bone health, and sure enough, studies confirm that effect.8
In spite of this, the Medical Establishment persists in pushing osteoporosis drugs. Drugs like bisphosphonates have been found to have devastating side effects, including osteonecrosis of the jaw and atypical femur fractures.
Meanwhile, they do nothing to alleviate the other risks posed by an acidifying diet. In fact, like all drugs, osteoporosis medications are acidifying– they contribute to the problem they’re attempting to correct.
Once again, we see that safe and effective dietary interventions offer more benefits than drug therapies and come without the negative side effects.
When the acid-base balance in the blood grows too acidic, the body takes minerals from bone to restore an alkaline pH, causing bone loss. Diet is a major factor that determines acid-base balance. A pH-balanced diet can prevent bone loss caused by acidosis. Osteoporosis drugs don't fix the underlying problem driving bone loss, they cause terrible side effects, and they contribute to acidosis.
The Future Of The Fight For Safer Health Interventions
Given that dietary interventions can be as effective as, or more effective than, these drugs, one might expect that doctors to prescribe dietary changes instead.
However, records show that sales of statins and osteoporosis drugs have boomed, and are expected to keep growing.
Between the years 2015 and 2020, the use of statins, measured in daily doses, increased 24.7%. The wealthier a country is, the more statin use has increased, suggesting that prescriptions would be even more common if the drug were more affordable.9
The market for osteoporosis drugs demonstrates the vast scale and growth of pharmaceutical intervention for bone loss. The market value for osteoporosis treatment stood at 10.74 billion dollars in 2018 and is projected to reach 15.08 billion dollars by 2026.10
There is no evidence that this growth will stop. In fact, it may accelerate as large portions of the population get older. Big Pharma certainly won't advocate for dietary interventions, since that would cut into their profits.
Unfortunately, it apperas that the Medical Establishment is content in remaining in service of the pharmaceutical industry. Doctors are likely to keep writing fast and easy prescriptions instead of doing the harder and more personal work of helping patients to improve their dietary habits.
The prescriptions of both statins and osteoporosis drugs have increased rapidly over the past decade. That trend looks likely to continue as populations age and Big Pharma anticipates big profits. Even though better and safer health solutions exist, the Medical Establishment, and many doctors, are content to keep writing prescriptions.
What This Means To You
Seek out natural solutions and find a doctor who will support your decision. You have the ability to choose a diet and a lifestyle that keeps your bones and your cardiovascular system strong and healthy.
The Osteoporosis Reversal Program was founded to provide a natural path to stronger, healthier bones. The program delves deep into the scientific evidence supporting the efficacy of dietary intervention. Fortunately for Savers, it’s easy and delicious to eat a pH-balanced diet.
While the drug market, fueled by Big Pharma and the Medical Establishment, will continue to grow, so too will our scientific knowledge and understanding. As long as we have the ability to learn, we’ll be able to make our own best choices about our health and our future.