Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Tim Russert a victim of misinformation

The endless hand-wringing and speculating are making me sick. That Tim Russert died unexpectedly of a heart attack was not, or shouldn’t have been, unexpected. Tim Russert had both diabetes and heart disease. Tim Russert was on blood pressure and cholesterol medications. Tim Russert was following his doctor’s admonition to exercise daily and watch his diet. None of these prescriptions did a damn bit of good prolonging his life. Obviously.

So who’s to blame? The doctors were merely dispensing good sound advice as taught to them in their Big Pharma Schools of Profit-Generation, more commonly referred to as medical school. The pharmacists were fulfilling their oath of office to faithfully lick, stick, count and pour — never question. Big Pharma was doing what they always do, maximizing profit with egregious disregard for truth. But, as per usual, the most culpable is the whore known as the FDA.

If anyone would’ve told Tim Russert to keep his homocysteine levels low — homocysteine causes plaque to stick to artery walls and can lead to hardening of the arteries — by loading up on B vitamins, he’d likely be here today. If health professionals would have told him that the number one cause of sudden-death heart attacks is magnesium deficiency — magnesium prevents blood clots, dilates blood vessels, and can stop the development of dangerous heart irregularities — and that cardiac patients and diabetics are most at risk for this, he’d likely be here today. If his doctor would’ve told him that regular vigorous exercise produces free radicals that attack healthy cells and often does more harm than good, he’d likely be here today. What’s most likely is that Tim Russert never heard any of this.

The drug companies know these things. But, of course, there is no money to be made by enlightening the public about vitamins and minerals. No treadmills to be sold by championing an evening walk or morning yoga. We can’t expect soulless bureaucrats to do the right thing. But we can expect our government to safeguard our interests.

The FDA needs to start funding pure research, with only knowledge as its goal, to discover natural solutions to our many health woes. The FDA needs to watch over our food supply so that it isn’t stripped of vitaimin and mineral content for the benefit of corporate interests alone. The FDA should extract fees from pharmaceutical companies to pay the salaries of independent ethical researchers. And the FDA should ensure that doctors and the public understand simple paths to good health.

Don’t get your hopes up. Without public pressure, and we’re too uneducated to even know what to press for, there won’t be any positive change. We’ll continue to be shocked by sudden deaths, scared by known unknowns, comforted by Big Pharma minions who ramp up their efforts to catch a silent killer before it strikes again. And the beat goes on. For some of us. For the moment.


Pietro said...
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Jay said...

It's so hard to swim against the tide of conventional medical wisdom. I try to hedge my bets - I'm on BP meds, but I keep my vitamin intake up both by eating plenty of fresh fruit and veg (when I'm home - holidays make it extremely difficult when you have to eat out) and by taking vit/mineral supplements. I exercise, as much to keep my weight down as anything, but I'm too lazy to do it to excess.

Right now I'm battling a vicious bug which has two of my friends down with pneumonia and a handful of others coughing and lethargic like me. I am allergic to so many antibiotics that I resist them till the last possible moment - the fact that my two friends are both on their second course of antibiotics seems to support this philosophy - and I'm taking garlic (natural anti-viral) and extra vitamin C, and echinacea. Whether all this will help remains to be seen, I guess...

T.R. said...

Hey, the Blogger ate my baby. I wrote a long impassioned post a few days ago.

The long and short: God, Marie you are right on. This blind faith in authority figures (doctors, preachers, presidents) is going to be the ruination of our country.