The Alliance For Natural Health

The Pulse of Natural Health Newsletter

Stay informed about what is hot in Washington and the states about natural health

A Flagrant Example of Pushing the Sponsor’s Product

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Drugmakers Pay an NPR Talk Show Host/Physician $1.3 Million for Lectures

“Neither thought getting money from drug companies could be an issue.” This quote from the New York Times article that broke the news has caused many to shake their heads in disbelief.

Sen. Charles Grassley uncovered ties between Frederick Goodwin, M.D., former director of the National Institute of Mental Health, and drug manufacturers. According to the New York Times, Dr. Goodwin’s weekly radio programs have often touched on subjects important to the commercial interests of the companies for which he consults. The guests on Dr. Goodwin’s program had affiliations with drugmakers. None of these affiliations were disclosed on the radio program.

NPR now states they would not have broadcast Dr. Goodwin’s program if they had been aware of Dr. Goodwin’s financial interests, and will remove his broadcast from their satellite service beginning next week. Dr. Goodwin’s program was underwritten by NIH and the National Science Foundation, again raising the issue of how vested interests can influence government institutions.

The New York Times article says that Sen. Grassley’s investigation “demonstrates how deeply pharmaceutical commercial interests reach into academic medicine, and it has shown that universities are all but incapable of policing these arrangements.”

As noted by such authors as John Abramson, M.D., in his book Overdosing America and Jerome Kassirer, M.D., in his book On the Take, pharmaceutical commercial interests have redefined illness by creating new normals for cholesterol, blood pressure, LDL, and blood sugar levels. Additionally, drugmaker interests have had a profound effect on the practice of medicine. The standard of care for treating hypercholesterolemia, for example, is defined on the basis of pharmaceutical commercial interests rather than objective science and clinical practice.

Sen. Grassley’s investigations speak to the lack of freedom of choice in the U.S. Vested interests skew medical school education, research, journal publication, practice guidelines, and FDA actions, as well as dominating consumer advertisement and education, all of which directly affects consumer health and safety. It is time to reform the FDA and support healthcare freedom for practitioners and consumers in the U.S. Sign the AAHF petition to reform the FDA and learn more about the critical steps AAHF takes on behalf of health freedom.

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  • I am using the last part of my recent writing to underscore the skewed medical practice and academia by the business interests outside the medical profession.

    A Mystery: Why Does Today’s Medicine Still Resist Carbohydrate-restricted Diets? (3 of 3)

    Lastly, low carbohydrates diet is not a new idea that was a diet used in the society of hunter-gatherers, according to reports, at least 10,000 years ago18. In the middle of 1800’s, restricting carbohydrates for weight loss was mentioned. At the turn of 1900’s, such diet was used to treat intractable epilepsy for children19. In the middle of1990’s, few physicians such as Doctors Irwin Sullivan and Robert Atklins published books for the diet. However, their works faced the resistance from the core medical establishment, especially when pharmaceutical chemistry was developed and began to produce medications (chemical, bio-chemical, and biological), which help altering the symptoms of diseases. Physicians paid little attention to the relationship between diet and health.

    For the past couple of decades, the pharmaceutical industry has financially supported many medical research projects and medical education meetings. It is unavoidable to suspect the pharmaceutical industry has been influencing the core medical establishment in setting up the standard of medical care that is ultimately favoring the use of medications over the change of diets. While new drugs have always claimed for their advantages in treating diseases, a number of them eventually have failed to sustain the claims. In addition, side effects of these drugs are far more significant than the therapeutic outcomes.

    In comparison, there has been a shortage of funds for the research of how foods especially carbohydrates impact the development of diseases. Such researches are in conflict with the profit-oriented pharmaceutical industry, thus fail to generate the interests of the core medical establishment and the governmental health agencies.

    Although, the American Diabetes Association, in its annual Clinical Practice recommendations at the end of 2007, lukewarmly suggested that individual diabetic patients might be benefited by low carbohydrate diet, it reiterated that it did not find substantiating evidences for its full support on this diet20. But, why does not it want to start a research project without bias to see if restricting carbohydrates would indeed benefit the diabetics?

    On August 24, 2009, the American Heart Association, in trying its first baby step, recommended Americans to reduce their intake of added sugar. (See my blog posted on “What’s New, Doc?” at http://www.carbohydratescankill.com, on September 4, 2009.) It asked Americans to reduce their daily consumption of added sugar from 22.2 teaspoons to 9 for men and 6 for women. However, it still recommended dietary pattern that is rich in fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, high-fiber whole grains, lean meat, poultry and fish. It failed to address the need of restricting carbohydrates in its recommendations21.

    To reverse the trend of overweight/obesity and diseases of the American population, we must improve its health by adopting the carbohydrate-restricted diet as soon as possible.

    Robert Su, Pharm.B., M.D.

    18. News Article. “Hunter-Gatherer Diet May Help Prevent And Treat Type 2 Diabetes.” Diabetes Center, University of California, San Francisco. Wednesday, June 25, 2008. http://www.diabetes.ucsf.edu/about-us/news-events/news/200806/hunter-gatherer-diet-may-help-prevent-and-treat-type-2-diabetes
    19. Neal EG, et. al. “The Ketogenic Diet For The Treatment Of Childhood Epilepsy: A Randomized Control Trial.” Lancet Neurology. 2008 June; 7(6): 500-6 http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S1474-4422(08)70092-9 Or, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18456557
    20. American Diabetes Association. “Executive Summary: Standards of Medical Care In Diabetes.” Diabetes Care. January 2008 31:S5-S11; doi:10.2337/dc08-S005 http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/31/Supplement_1/S5.full.pdf+html
    21. American Heart Association. “Sugar: Frequently Asked Questions (Consumers.)” Learn and Live, http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=3068663#what_does_AHA_recommend_as_limit_for_added_sugars

  • Excellent Blog.